Indexed on: 06 Apr '12Published on: 06 Apr '12Published in: Yonsei medical journal
Clinically significant carbon dioxide embolism is a rare but potentially fatal complication of anesthesia administered during laparoscopic surgery. Its most common cause is inadvertent injection of carbon dioxide into a large vein, artery or solid organ. This error usually occurs during or shortly after insufflation of carbon dioxide into the body cavity, but may result from direct intravascular insufflation of carbon dioxide during surgery. Clinical presentation of carbon dioxide embolism ranges from asymptomatic to neurologic injury, cardiovascular collapse or even death, which is dependent on the rate and volume of carbon dioxide entrapment and the patient's condition. We reviewed extensive literature regarding carbon dioxide embolism in detail and set out to describe the complication from background to treatment. We hope that the present work will improve our understanding of carbon dioxide embolism during laparoscopic surgery.