Author: Sue Chilton, MD
- Triad of fat emboli syndrome is a petechial rash, AMS, and respiratory distress.
- Petechiae usually start in the axilla.
- 90% of patients with long bone fractures will shed fat.
- May see ground-glass opacities on imaging, but perfusion defects will not be seen on CTA or V/Q scan
- Patients with a PFO can have cerebral involvement.
Newbigin K, Souza CA, Torres C, Marchiori E, Gupta A, Inacio J, Armstrong M, Peña E. Fat embolism syndrome: State-of-the-art review focused on pulmonary imaging findings. Respir Med. 2016.113:93-100. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2016.01.018.
Kosova E, Bergmark B, Piazza G. Fat embolism syndrome. Circulation. 2015. 20;131(3):317-20. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010835.