Fat embolism is by no means a new subject. This is evident from even a superficial search through the literature, which discloses over 500 references. In spite of this voluminous literature, the condition is rarely diagnosed intra vitam, and only when the symptoms are severe is it even suspected. More recent neurologic textbooks either omit the subject entirely or make but scant mention of it. With increase in the number of fractures of long bones and trauma to fat deposits, as a result of automobile accidents, there has been an increase in the number of cases of fat embolism.
Cerebral fat embolism is usually but one of the components of a universal fat embolism. Its clinical picture is frequently only the final episode in the story. The cerebral involvement usually dominates the clinical picture, and the pulmonary symptoms may escape detection.
The literature on fat embolism dates back many years.
WINKELMAN NW. CEREBRAL FAT EMBOLISM: A CLINICOPATHOLOGIC STUDY OF TWO CASES. Arch NeurPsych. 1942;47(1):57–76. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archneurpsyc.1942.02290010067006
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