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October 17, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(16):1153-1154. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730160035012

A diagnosis of fat embolism is only occasionally made during life. Severe fat embolism, however, gives rise to two distinct clinical pictures, which are associated with definite pathologic lesions. The pulmonary type is characterized by a marked obstruction of the arterioles and capillaries of the lungs. In the cerebral type, the fat emboli pass through the pulmonary capillaries and cause lesions in the brain, heart and kidneys. Patients with the pulmonary type of fat embolism have symptoms of asphyxia before death; those with the cerebral type show involvement of the central nervous system. Vance1 has reported a study of 246 necropsies made among the routine examinations in the office of the chief medical examiner of New York City, with a view to determining the relation of trauma to fat embolism. Sections of the lungs and kidneys made from each necropsy were examined under the microscope for fat emboli and

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