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    Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) is a common procedure performed on patients suffering from osteoporotic compression fractures. Complications of the bone cement escaping both locally as well as systemically into pulmonary circulation leading to pulmonary embolism (PE) have been reported in ≤26% of patients. A 57-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with complaints of chest pain, fever, and cough. The patient had a history of an outpatient PVP from compression fractures of T5 and T7 performed 25 days before her presentation. She was in moderate respiratory distress and placed on bilateral positive airway pressure with improvement of her respiratory status. Laboratory results were remarkable for an elevated D-dimer, normal B-type natriuretic peptide, and decreased pH on venous blood gas. Pulmonary computed tomography angiography demonstrated bone cement PE in both the left lower lobe and a right middle lobe pulmonary artery. She was admitted to the hospital with improvement of her respiratory status with supportive treatment only. She was discharged after a 4-day hospital stay but died unexpectedly in her sleep 38 days after discharge. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: PVP is a common procedure that carries a risk of PE from bone cement embolization. Most of these events occur during the procedure, making the diagnosis obvious. However, delayed presentations from weeks to years have been reported. The emergency physician should consider bone cement embolization in the differential diagnosis in any patient with chest pain and shortness of breath that also has a history of PVP. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Dorian Drigalla, C Keith Stone, Andrew L Juergens. Delayed Symptomatic Pulmonary Embolism Secondary to Bone Cement After Percutaneous Vertebroplasty. The Journal of emergency medicine. 2021 Mar;60(3):e45-e47

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    PMID: 33419654

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