Fatal pulmonary cement embolism following percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP)

Forensic Sci Int. 2005 Apr 20;149(1):35-8. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2004.06.010.


A case of fatal pulmonary embolism with acrylic cement occuring during a percutaneous vertebroplasty on account of a fracture of L1 is described. Autopsy confirmed the presence of large amounts of surgical cement in the paravertebral venous system and in the pulmonary arteries. This rare complication occurred because perivertebral venous cement migration was not recognized during vertebroplasty. To our knowledge, this is the first case of fatal pulmonary embolism caused by surgical cement following a percutaneous vertebroplasty.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Cements / adverse effects*
  • Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials / complications*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / etiology
  • Humans
  • Injections, Spinal / adverse effects
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / injuries
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology*
  • Spinal Fractures / surgery


  • Bone Cements