A 46-year-old woman presented with sudden onset of shortness of breath and pleuritic chest pain. A CT pulmonary angiogram identified a 5 cm cement pulmonary embolus within the right main pulmonary artery with a surrounding thrombus. She had undergone an L4 vertebroplasty 3 years prior to presentation for a benign lytic lesion. Cement embolus is a known complication of cement vertebroplasty with incidence rates of approximately 0.9%. Management is usually conservative and associated morbidity and mortality rates are low. It is not known whether a previous cement embolus could provide a nidus for thrombus formation.
- pulmonary embolism
- orthopaedic and trauma surgery
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