Feb 032012

Jean-Pierre Tourtier and Sophie Cottez of the Military Hospital Val-de-Grâce, Paris share the case of a 61-year-old man who underwent vertebroplasty after a therapeutic laminectomy for resection of a vertebral hemangioma. Cement made it into his paravertebral vascular system, and thence to his systemic circulation and pulmonary arteries, where it made for some interesting radiographic pictures. This is a known complication of vertebroplasty. The patient did okay, authors say.

Toutier J-P, Cottez S. Pulmonary Cement Embolism after Vertebroplasty. N Engl J Med 2012;366:258.

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Pulmonary cement embolism caused by vertebroplasty (Image, NEJM)