Diagnosis and Treatment of Fat Embolism

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The occurrence of fat embolism as a complication of skeletal trauma has been of interest for more than a century. The controversy in regard to the source of the embolic fat has still not been resolved. The incidence of fat embolism is relatively high both on the battlefield and in civilian life (Table 1).1-7 The severity of this complication in association with multiple injuries, especially with fractures of long bones, is not generally appreciated. Systemic fat embolism produces a clinical syndrome with characteristic findings and pertinent laboratory results. With a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, treatment has become more specific and less empirical. Pathogenesis The pathogenesis of fat embolism is still subject to conjecture and controversy. The genesis of the embolic fat is postulated as being either mechanical or physiochemical. Although it is possible that intravasation of fat into vascular channels can occur after trauma, recent studies8.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-901
Number of pages3
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 22 1965

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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