Cerebral air embolism following central venous catheter (CVC) removal is extremely rare. We report a case of cerebral air embolism with loss of consciousness after removal of CVC caused by pulmonary arteriovenous malformation (PAVM). Computed tomography revealed air bubbles in the internal carotid arteries along the sulci in the cerebral hemispheres, as well as a PAVM. The cerebral air embolism was treated with hyperbaric oxygen and intravenous thrombolytic therapy, and transcatheter embolization of the PAVM was performed. When inserting/removing CVC in a patient with a small PAVM, treatment of the PAVM, irrespective of its size, could prevent the type of complication that occurred in our present case.

Kugiyama, Koganemaru, Kuhara, Nabeta, Uchiyama, Tanaka, Kawabata, Abe (2018). A Rare Case of Cerebral Air Embolism Caused by Pulmonary Arteriovenous Malformation After Removal of a Central Venous Catheter. The Kurume medical journal, 2018 Dec;65(1):17-21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30158359