Journal Published Online: 25 May 2005
Volume 50, Issue 4

The Potential of Venous Air Embolism Ascending Retrograde to the Brain



A bench study was performed to investigate the potential of air bubbles entering a central vein via a central venous catheter to ascend retrograde to the brain. The results support the hypothesis that air bubbles may rise retrograde against the venous blood flow, depending on bubble size, central vein diameter and cardiac output. A review of radiological findings in published case reports indicates that the occurrence of retrograde cerebral air embolism is underestimated

Author Information

Schlimp, CJ
Innsbruck Medical University, Austria
Loimer, T
Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Rieger, M
Innsbruck Medical University, Austria>
Lederer, W
Innsbruck Medical University, Austria
Schmidts, MB
Institute of Medical Education, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Pages: 4
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Stock #: JFS2005061
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2005061