Abstract

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

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