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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 582769, 4 pages
Case Report

Pulmonary Artery Cement Embolism after a Vertebroplasty

1McGill Scoliosis & Spine Centre, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 0G4
2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4R2

Received 2 April 2015; Accepted 21 June 2015

Academic Editor: Ali F. Ozer

Copyright © 2015 Anas Nooh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background Context. Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure most commonly used for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures. Although it is relatively safe, complications have been reported over time. Among those complications, massive cement pulmonary embolism is considered a rare complication. Here we report a case of massive diffuse cement pulmonary embolism following percutaneous vertebroplasty for a vertebral compression fracture. Study Design. Case report. Methods. This is a 70-year-old female who underwent vertebroplasty for T11 and T12 vertebral compression fracture. Results. CT-scan revealed an incidental finding of cement embolism in the pulmonary trunk and both pulmonary arteries. Since the patient was asymptomatic, she was monitored closely and she did not need any intervention. Conclusion. Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used for treatment of vertebral compression fracture. Despite the low rate of complications, a pulmonary cement embolism can occur. The consequences of cement embolism range widely from being asymptomatic to embolism that can cause paralysis, radiculopathy, or a fatal pulmonary embolism.