Fat embolism : A process by which fat tissue passes into the bloodstream and lodges within a blood vessel. In general, an embolus is something that travels through the bloodstream, lodges in a blood vessel, and blocks it. A fat embolus is a fat particle or droplet that travels through the circulation and eventually blocks a blood vessel. Fat emboli tend to be small and multiple, causing numerous signs and symptoms. Up to 90% of cases are associated with trauma, and fracture of or surgery on a large bone, such as the femur bone of the thigh. As a result of the broken bone, the bone marrow fat escapes into the bloodstream. Alternatively, fat embolism can also arise from with parenteral lipid infusion (a form of nutritional supplementation), pancreatitis , burns , childbirth , and other conditions. Although release of bone marrow fat into the circulation may be a cause, fat embolism may arise due to conditions such as widespread trauma or diseases that alter lipid metabolism in the body.
Our current generation of practitioners is fortunate to have a number of options for treatment of pulmonary embolism. While treatment of low- and high-risk PE is relatively straightforward (anticoagulation alone and anticoagulation with or without lysis, respectively), there is growing evidence to support a specific strategy to treat patients with intermediate-risk PE. Overall, treatment of intermediate PE is complex and requires a multidisciplinary team of specialist areas, including pulmonary, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, and interventions.