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Coronary Artery Air Embolism Complicating a CT-Guided Transthoracic Needle Biopsy of the Lung*

Babak Mokhlesi, MD; Imraan Ansaarie, MD; Mazen Bader, MD:; Mona Tareen, MD; James Boatman, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Correspondence to: Babak Mokhlesi, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Crititcal Care, Cook County Hospital and Rush Medical College, 1900 West Polk St, Room 914, Chicago, IL 60612; e-mail: Babak_Mokhlesi@rush.edu



Chest. 2002;121(3):993-996. doi:10.1378/chest.121.3.993
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Systemic air embolism is a rare but potentially fatal complication of percutaneous transthoracic needle biopsy of the lung. Coronary air embolism can result in myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, or dysrhythmias. We present the first case of cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction confirmed by ECG and cardiac enzymes in the presence of air in the left coronary artery documented by CT scan in a 77-year-old man after CT-guided transthoracic needle biopsy of the lung.

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