Magnetic resonance imaging of cerebral fat embolism: a case report

Intensive Care Med. 1995 Aug;21(8):679-81. doi: 10.1007/BF01711549.


Fat embolism syndrome (FES) is one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality following multiple fractures. Neurological involvement (cerebral fat embolism) has been reported frequently. A case of cerebral fat embolism is reported. While CT scan revealed no abnormalities, MRI, performed in this patient 8 days after trauma, showed relative low-intensity areas on T1-weighted images and high intensity areas on T2-weighted images involving cerebral white matter, corpus callosum and basal ganglia. MRI follow-up (1 and 3 months post-trauma) showed nearly complete resolution of the abnormal signal. MRI seems to be a useful diagnostic tool for detecting and quantifying lesions in fat embolism syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adolescent
  • Embolism, Fat / diagnosis*
  • Embolism, Fat / etiology
  • Femoral Fractures / complications*
  • Humans
  • Humeral Fractures / complications*
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / etiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma / complications*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed