Fatal cerebral air embolus complicating multimodality treatment of esophageal cancer

Siva Raja, Thomas W. Rice, David P. Mason, Christina Rodriguez, Carmela Tan, E. Rene Rodriguez, Edward Manno, Gregory M. Videtic, Sudish C. Murthy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A 38-year-old woman with clinical T3N1M0 esophageal adenocarcinoma received an institutional protocol of induction chemotherapy, esophagectomy, and consolidation chemoradiotherapy. Three months after treatment, she had an acute mental status change develop and grand mal seizures. Intracranial imaging demonstrated massive cerebral air emboli, and a rapidly fatal neurologic deterioration ensued. At autopsy, a nonmalignant 0.5-cm gastric conduit to the left atrial fistula was identified. This case illustrates a rare, but fatal, late benign complication of aggressive therapy for locally advanced esophageal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1901-1903
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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