What are the pulmonary consequences of fat embolism syndrome (FES)?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Constantine S Bulauitan, MD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Pulmonary consequences of FES are clinically similar to those of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and almost always occur. They are usually the initial manifestation of FES, typically appearing within 24 hours after the traumatic insult. They result from injury to the pulmonary capillary endothelium caused by free fatty acids that were hydrolyzed by lipoprotein lipase, releasing local toxic mediators. These mediators cause increased vascular permeability, resulting in alveolar hemorrhage and edema and causing respiratory failure and ARDS. [7, 8]

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