Gas embolism following bronchoscopic argon plasma coagulation: a case series

Chakravarthy Reddy, Adnan Majid, Gaetane Michaud, David Feller-Kopman, Ralph Eberhardt, Felix Herth, Armin Ernst
Chest 2008, 134 (5): 1066-1069
Thermal ablation using argon plasma coagulation (APC) is a commonly used modality in the bronchoscopic management of central airway obstruction and hemoptysis. In experienced hands, APC is considered to be a relatively safe tool. Reported complications associated with APC use are rare and include hemorrhage, airway perforation, or airway fires. Systemic gas embolism has been reported with APC during laparoscopic hepatic surgeries, and we have reported one case of systemic gas embolism with cardiovascular collapse in the past. We now report the first case series of systemic, life-threatening gas embolism occurring as a complication of bronchoscopic application of APC.

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