What is the pathophysiology of fat embolism?

Updated: Mar 26, 2018
  • Author: Constantine S Bulauitan, MD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

The exact mechanism of fat embolism and its evolution to the entity known as FES has not been fully elucidated, but a number of experimental models have been proposed. Asymptomatic fat embolism to the pulmonary circulation almost always occurs with major trauma, including elective surgical procedures such as intramedullary nailing of long bones, which has been demonstrated with echocardiography. The development of FES is rare, occurring in 0.5-11% of cases. [2, 3]


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