Thorned heart. Description of a near-fatal cardiac embolism after percutaneous Vertebroplasty
Cement extravasation is a rather common complication of vertebroplasty, which can be observed in up to 30-40% of patients undergoing this procedure, further associated with venous leakage occurring in up to 24% of cases. Pulmonary embolism may eventually develop once the cement migrates within the pulmonary artery, and is the most common complication of cement extravasation (involving ~4.6% of patients). Intra-cardiac cement embolism is considerably less frequent, but is a potentially fatal complication, mostly managed with cardiac surgery. We describe here a rare case of near-fatal cardiac cement embolism, with a large fragment perforating the right ventricle and reaching the pericardium, who presented to the Emergency Department (ED) for syncope. The patient, who displayed this severe complication after a vertebroplasty procedure performed for osteoporotic compression fracture, needed cardiac surgery.
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