January 17, 1972

Cerebral Food Embolism Secondary to Esophageal-Cardiac Perforation

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology (Dr. Itabashi) and neurology (Dr. Granada), University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, and Mt. Pleasant State Home and Training School, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. Dr. Itabashi is now with the Department of Pathology, Harbor General Hospital-UCLA, Torrance, Calif.

JAMA. 1972;219(3):373-375. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190290059017

A mentally retarded young man died with multiple miliary cerebral infarcts secondary to food embolization. His sudden and unexpected death resulted from an esophageal-cardiac perforation in the bed of a chronic esophageal ulcer into the left auricle. The infarcts were the likely result of unique embolization of food particles which gained entrance to the systemic circulation via the perforation. Food emboli were demonstrated in small arteries of virtually all organs examined.