Cerebral Arterial Air Embolism After Transbronchial Lung Biopsy: A Case Report and Review of Literature

Dhillon, Samjot Singh MD*; Agrawal, Anjali MD†; Gorin, Arnold Bernard MD*

Journal of Bronchology:
Brief Reports
Abstract

A 55-year-old man developed cerebral air embolism after transbronchial lung biopsy of a lung mass. Only 3 such cases have been reported previously, in patients with miliary tuberculosis, amyloidosis, and interstitial lung disease. Our patient did not have a diffuse interstitial lung disease and is the only survivor of this extremely rare complication. His neurologic deficits resolved completely, and progressive disappearance of air on serial computed tomography examination of the brain is also documented. Cerebral air embolism after transbronchial biopsy can occur in patients with lung cancer.

Author Information

From *Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, the Department of Medicine, Houston VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas; and the †Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, the Department of Radiology, Houston VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Reprints: Dr. Samjot Singh Dhillon, Pulmonary/Critical Care, 85 Spring Street, 3rd Floor, Laconia, NH 03246 (e-mail: samjot@yahoo.com).

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.