Fatal Air Embolism Following Perforation of the Cecum in a Patient with Peritoneovenous Shunt for Ascites

Hirst, Albert E.; Saunders, Frederick C.
November 1981
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Nov1981, Vol. 76 Issue 5, p453
Academic Journal
The authors report the occurrence of fatal embolism as a complication of a LeVeen peritoneovenous shunt performed four months previously in a 67-year old man with ascites. Air embolism was caused by perforation of the cecum following cauterization of a vascular malformation of the mucosa through a flexible colonoscope. An autopsy demonstrated air within the peritoneal cavity, the LeVeen shunt and both ventricles of the heart. In the patient with a LeVeen shunt, gastrointestinal perforation from any cause is an indication for immediate closure of the shunt.


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