Multiorganic fat embolism in a case of post-traumatic fracture of the humerus

Adriana Grigoras, Laura Knieling, Carmen Mateiciuc, Irina Draga Caruntu, Cornelia Amalinei


Fat embolism syndrome is a known complication in traumatology, especially in long bone fractures. The incidence of the fat embolism syndrome depends on the bone involved, whether fractures are isolated or multiple, the age of the patient, and the gender. It rarely occurs as a result of medical conditions. Classically, patients presents with a triad consisting of pulmonary distress, mental status changes, and petechial rash, occurred 24 to 48 hours after long-bone fracture. We present the case of an 88 year old woman, a victim of a traffic accident (pedestrian), who died in the same day. Autopsy and microscopic examination of fragments of tissue stained with Sudan III confirmed the presence of a multiorganic fat embolism in this case of post-traumatic fracture of the humerus.


fat embolism, autopsy, humerus fracture

Full Text:



Stein PD, Yaekoub AY, Matta F, et al.: Fat embolism syndrome. Am J Med Sci, 2008, 336(6):472-7.

Taviloglu , Yanar H: Fat Embolism Syndrome. Surgery Today, 2007, 37(1):5-8.

Mellor A, Soni N: Fat embolism. Anaesthesia, 2001, 56(2):145-54.

Parisi DM, Koval K, Egol K: Fat embolism syndrome. Am J Orthop, 2002, 31(9):507-12.

Nikolić S, Micić J, Savić S, et al.: Post-traumatic systemic fat embolism syndrome. Retrospective autopsy study. Srp Arh Celok Lek, 2000, 128 (1-2):24-8.

Zhou L, Mu J, Dong HM, et al.: Forensic analysis of death caused by fat embolism: A study of 20 autopsy cases. Fa Yi Xue Za Zhi, 2013, 29(6):431-3.

Russell GV Jr, Kirk PG, Biddinger P: Fat embolism syndrome from an isolated humerus fracture. Orthop Trauma, 1997, 11(2):141-4.

van den Brand JG, van der Hoeven JH, Olsman JG: Dyspnea or confusion after trauma? Consider fat embolism syndrome. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd, 2000, 144(32):1513-7.

Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N: Robbins Basic Pathology. 8th edition. Edited by Mitchell RN. Saunders Elsevier publishing, 2007, 505-506


Copyright (c)

Creative Commons License
Archive of Clinical Cases is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


ISSN: 2360-6975