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Cerebral Tissue Pulmonary Embolism After Severe Head Trauma in an Infant

Warren, Mikako MD*; Goodhue, William MD*†

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 9–10
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31826151c2
Case Reports

Cerebral tissue pulmonary embolism (CTPE) is a very rare complication of severe head trauma. Nearly 20 cases of CTPE have been reported in neonates after birth trauma and even fewer cases in children and adults. We report a 4-month-old infant boy who sustained severe head trauma when he was accidentally dropped by his stepfather. Autopsy revealed multiple skull fractures, dural venous sinus laceration, subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhages, and brain maceration and extrusion. Microscopically, there was widespread embolism of brain tissue in medium- to small-sized pulmonary arteries.

From the *Department of Pathology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii; and †Department of the Medical Examiner, City and County of Honolulu, Honolulu, HI.

Manuscript received August 4, 2010; accepted September 8, 2010.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Mikako Warren, MD, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI. E-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.