Cerebral air embolism: Acute imaging

Kenneth L. Weiss, Katarzyna J. Macura, Adeeb Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Iatrogenic cerebral air embolism secondary to right subclavian vein recatheterization was imaged acutely by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, CT showed intravascular air with misleadingly high attenuation values sampled to a minimum of -39 HU. Diffusion-weighted imaging, not previously reported in this setting, clearly showed hyperintense acute infarctions in corresponding vascular territories 8.5 hours postprocedure (less than 6 hours after referable symptomatology noted), whereas T2-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and turbo gradient spin echo images did not. The combination of CT and diffusion-weighted MRI appears ideal for evaluating suspected cerebral air embolism in the acute setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-226
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • CT
  • Cerebral air embolism
  • Cerebral infarction
  • Diffusion
  • MRI
  • Subclavian vein catheterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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