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May 1950

OCULAR FAT EMBOLISM: A Clinical and Pathologic Report

Author Affiliations

From the Institute of Ophthalmology of the Presbyterian Hospital, and the Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1950;43(5):857-863. doi:10.1001/archopht.1950.00910010872010

FAT EMBOLISM has been described1 as a condition in which fat is circulating in the blood stream in globules large enough to occlude the capillaries and induce multiple anoxic foci. Although this disease is considered something of a rarity, Scuderi2 in 1941 stated that there were over 600 references to fat embolism in the literature. He further stated that clinically the condition was difficult to substantiate, the difficulty being due not so much to the fault of the diagnostician as to the nature of the disease.

A recent report by Fritz and Hogan3 has indicated the rarity of ocular signs of the condition. Further investigation has revealed that, although ocular fat embolism is not so rare as has been thought, it nevertheless is distinctly unusual. Particularly is the diagnosis rarely based on pathologic study. At least 23 case reports of ocular fat embolism are readily available, 7

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