Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 61(2); 2006 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2006;61(2):184-188.
DOI:    Published online August 1, 2006.
Numerous Bilateral Radiographically Dense Branching Opacities after Vertebroplasty with Polymethylmethacrylate.
Jun Hyun Cho, Jong Pil Jung, Jun Bum Eum, Kwang Won Seo, Yang Jin Jegal, Seong Hoon Choi, Jong Joon Ahn
1Department of Internal Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea.
2Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea.
3Department of Radiology, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea.
Percutaneous vertebroplasty consists of the percutaneous injection of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cement into a collapsed vertebral body in order to obtain pain relief and mechanically strengthen the vertebral body. This procedure is now extensively used in treating osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture. It is an efficient treatment, but it is not free of complications. Most complications after vertebroplasty are associated with PMMA leakage. Pulmonary embolism of PMMA is rare, but this can occur when there is a failure to recognize venous migration of cement early during the procedure. We encountered a case of a patient with asymptomatic pulmonary embolism because of PMMA after percutaneous vertebroplasty. Chest X-ray and CT scanning revealed numerous tubular branching opacities that corresponded to the pulmonary vessels at the segmental and subsegmental levels.
Key Words: Pulmonary embolism, Polymethylmethacrylate, PMMA, Bone cement, Percutaneous vertebroplasty
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