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ROOT BENJAMIN MD; LEVY, MATTHEW N. MD; POLLACK, STANLEY MD; LUBERT, MORTIMER MD; PATHAK, KALlNDl MD
Anesthesia & Analgesia: March-April 1978
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A young woman died suddenly about 1 hour after instillation of CO2 for diagnostic laparoscopy. Post-mortem x-rays revealed large volumes of gas in the portal system, the heart, and the brain. In addition, autopsy revealed gas bubbles in the coronary arteries, pulmonary hemorrhage and edema, and a probe-patent foramen ovale. We postulated the “trapping” of gas in the portal circulation and affirmed this by experiments in 6 dogs. We further postulate the delayed and intermittent release of this gas and of platelet aggregates into the systemic circulation would occur in volumes which would be insufficient to produce hemodynamic signs yet sufficient to produce serious pulmonary insult.

Support of the experimental work in the Department of Investigative Medicine by General Support Grant (RR-05658)

© 1978 International Anesthesia Research Society