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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 53

of 'Rare complications of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)'

[Thoracoabdominal CT scan: a useful tool for the diagnosis of air embolism during an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography].
Tan BK, Saunier CF, Cotton F, Gueugniaud PY, Piriou V
Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2008;27(3):240. Epub 2008 Mar 4.
We report the case of an 82-year-old woman treated with biliary stents for an ampulloma of Vater's papilla, with recurrent stenosis of the common bile duct. She was hospitalized with a cholestasis. An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was scheduled to change the biliary stent for a metallic one, under general anaesthesia, with oral intubation. The ERCP was performed initially without any complication, but as the metallic biliary stent was placed, an air embolism occurred and a cardiac arrest happened immediately. The etiologic diagnosis was quickly confirmed by an injected multislice body-scan, which showed liver, right heart and brain gas embolism. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation allowed a complete haemodynamic recovery but a poor neurological recovery. The patient was transferred in intensive care unit, were she died 12 days after, despite hyperbaric oxygen therapy and the disappearance of the air embolism on the following computed tomography scan. This case may be useful to recall the utility of a body-scan for the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of an air embolism during ERCP.
Service d'anesthésie-réanimation, centre hospitalier Lyon-Sud, universitéClaude-Bernard, Lyon-1, 69395 Pierre-Bénite cedex, France.