FAT EMBOLISM SYNDROME: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Mustapha Adekunle F, Adesokan Olalekan A

Available online Jul 18, 2018.

[ Review ] Volume 25, Issue 4, 2016, Pages 374-380


Abstract

Fat embolism syndrome is a serious manifestation of fat embolism phenomenon characterized clinically by triad of
dyspnoea, petechiae and mental confusion and usually follows long bone fractures. Its classic presentation consists
of an asymptomatic interval followed by pulmonary and neurologic manifestations combined with petechial
haemorrhages. The syndrome follows a biphasic clinical course. Unlike other embolic events, the vascular
occlusion in fat embolism is often temporary or incomplete since fat globules do not completely obstruct capillary
blood flow because of their fluidity and deformability. The late presentation is thought to be a result of hydrolysis of
the fat to more irritating free fatty acids which then migrate to other organs via the systemic circulation. There is
no specific therapy for fat embolism syndrome; prevention, early diagnosis, and adequate symptomatic treatment
are of paramount importance. It is a self-limiting disease and treatment is mainly supportive


Keywords

Long bone fracture, fat emboli, petechiae and supportive treatment.,