Arterial gas embolism (AGE) can be clinically devastating, and is most often associated with exposure to changes in ambient pressure, medical procedure or congenital malformation. Here we report a case of AGE in a 78-year-old male without these traditional risk factors. Rather, the patient’s history included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, necrotizing pneumonia, bullous disease and coughing. He was safely treated with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO₂) therapy for AGE, with initial clinical improvement, but ultimately died from his underlying condition. Pathophysiology is discussed. This case illustrates the possibility that AGE can occur due to rupture of lung tissue in the absence of traditional risk factors. HBO₂ therapy should be considered in the management of such patients.

Ceponis, Fox, Tailor, Hurwitz, Amrhein, Moon, , , (). Non-dysbaric arterial gas embolism associated with chronic necrotizing pneumonia, bullae and coughing: a case report. Undersea & hyperbaric medicine : journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc, ;44(1):73-77. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28768088