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July 1, 1968

Skin Embolism to the Lung

Author Affiliations

Loma Linda, Calif

JAMA. 1968;205(1):54. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140270078025

To the Editor:—  Many forms of matter, including solids, liquids, and gases, have traveled through the circulation to become impacted as emboli at some more distant site. The most frequently encountered varieties include thrombi, fat, air, bacteria, and bone marrow, but atheromata, amniotic fluid, starch, cotton fibers, mercury, oil, silicone, catheters, bile, and even bullets have produced embolism. An excellent review of the subject has recently been published by Mehta and Rubenstone.1We have been able to find only one previous published case of skin embolism, that reported by Berdnikoff and Couillard.2 In this instance, death of a newborn infant was attributed to a paradoxical skin embolus to a coronary artery, presumably introduced into the circulation during surgical treatment of a large omphalocele one hour after birth. The authors postulated that the embolus had passed through a patent ductus to reach the left side of the heart where