Which lab findings suggest fat embolism syndrome (FES)?

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

An otherwise unexplained increase in pulmonary shunt fraction alveolar-to-arterial oxygen tension difference, especially if it occurs within 24-48 hours of a sentinel event associated with fat embolism syndrome (FES), is strongly suggestive of the syndrome. Thrombocytopenia, anemia, and hypofibrinogenemia are indicative of FES; however, they are nonspecific.

Urinary fat stains are not considered to be sensitive or specific enough for diagnosing FES or for determining the risk of it. Fat globules in the urine are common after trauma. [10]


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