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      Massive coronary artery air embolism due to an unusual cause


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          A 46-year-old man underwent angioplasty of a restenotic bifurcation lesion of the circumflex artery. The procedure required repeated balloon exchanges and during the last balloon inflation, no balloon was visualized. A test injection revealed a massive coronary air embolism due to expulsion of air that had accumulated in the guiding catheter shaft. The patient was rapidly resuscitated from electromechanical dissociation with intracoronary injection of adrenaline and atropine and forceful intracoronary saline injections. Inspection of the balloon revealed a defect and scratch marks at the junction of the wire part and shaft of the monorail balloon, a location that places the air leakage inside the guiding catheter. This is the first report of massive intracoronary air embolism due to an undetectable damage to the shaft of a balloon angioplasty catheter. Recognition of the problem and immediate intervention is vital in limiting the duration of cardiac dysfunction.

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          Coronary air embolism: incidence, severity, and suggested approaches to treatment.

          Because no well-controlled study of inadvertent coronary air embolism has been done to truly quantify the incidence of this cardiac catheterization complication, we wanted to determine its incidence and severity in an active teaching medical center and assess approaches to treatment. We retrospectively reviewed 3,715 coronary angiogram and PTCA reports performed over 32 months. Further, we classified severity based on angiographic findings and symptoms as minimal, mild, moderate, and massive. Two independent angiographers reviewed 764 consecutive cines performed in the first 2 months of training of each new fellow and 740 cines performed in the last 2 months of training. We found that during the first 2 months of training the overall incidence for significant intracoronary air embolism was 0.19% (7 documented cases) compared with 0.2% (3 cases) for non-reported, minimal asymptomatic air embolism. The estimated incidence for total air emboli events was 0.27% (10/3,715). We did not find coronary air emboli in the 740 cines performed at the end of fellowship training. Additionally, the incidence of coronary air emboli during PTCA training was much higher compared with coronary angiography training (0.84 vs. 0.24%). Although there is no best technique to restore blood flow after blockage by air emboli, we suggest as options aspirating the air or forcefully injecting saline, with auxiliary supportive measures like 100% oxygen, IABP, CPR, and DC cardioversion.
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            Coronary air embolism: a case report and review of the literature.

            Coronary air embolism is a complication in the catheterization laboratory that can be associated with high morbidity and even mortality. A case report of air embolism and methods to prevent this complication from occurring are presented along with various management techniques.
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              Coronary air embolism treated with aspiration catheter.

              Coronary air embolism remains a recognised complication of coronary catheterisation despite a strong emphasis on prevention. Current treatment consists of supportive measures with 100% oxygen and analgesia. Recent case reports describe the use of mechanical treatments aimed at dispersing or removing the air embolus with variable success. A case of coronary air embolism causing an acute coronary syndrome is described that was definitively treated with an aspiration system. The effectiveness of the aspiration system in the distal section of an obtuse marginal artery indicates that such dedicated aspiration systems may prove useful in the standard treatment of air embolism.

                Author and article information

                Interv Med Appl Sci
                Interv Med Appl Sci
                Interventional Medicine & Applied Science
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                13 April 2018
                June 2018
                : 10
                : 2
                : 95-97
                [1 ]First Department of Cardiology, AHEPA Hospital, Aristotle University , Thessaloniki, Greece
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Stavros Hadjimiltiades, MD, PhD, FACC; First Department of Cardiology, AHEPA Hospital, Aristotle University, Stilponos Kyriakidi 1, 54636 Thessaloniki, Greece; Phone: +30 2313 304833; Fax: +30 2310 994673; E-mail: stavros@ 123456otenet.gr
                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 6, Pages: 3
                Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.
                Case Report

                air embolism,complications,angiography,angioplasty,balloon shaft defect


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