This study was done to demonstrate the computed tomography (CT) and pathologic findings of the sequential changes for experimental pulmonary fat embolism (PFE), and to correlate the CT and pathologic findings of rabbit lung. PFE was induced by an intravenous injection of 0.2 mL linoleic acid in 24 rabbits. The rabbits were divided into 4 groups of 6 rabbits each. CT scans were obtained sequentially at 2 hr (n=24), day 1 (n=18), day 3 (n=12) and day 7 (n=6) after fat embolization. The pathologic findings were analyzed and CT-pathologic correlation was done. CT scans showed bilateral ground-glass opacity (GGO), consolidation and nodule in all cases. The findings of PFE at 2 hr after fat embolization were areas of decreased attenuation, GGO, consolidation and nodule. These findings were aggravated on the follow-up CT after 1 day and 3 days. The follow-up CT revealed linear density in the subpleural lungs after 7 days. On CT-pathology correlation, wedge-shaped ischemic necrosis in the subpleural lungs correlated with nodule at 2 hr. GGO and consolidation at day 1 on CT correlated with congestion and edema, and these findings at day 3 were correlated with inflammation and hemorrhagic edema. The linear density in the subpleural lungs correlated with interstitial fibrosis and pleural contraction at day 7. In conclusion, PFE was caused by using linoleic acid which is kind of free fatty acid and this study served as one model of the occurrence of nontraumatic PFE. CT accurately depicted the natural evolution of PFE in the serial follow-up, and this correlated well with the pathologic findings.
- Embolism, experimental studies
- Embolism, fat
- Lung, computed tomography
- Pulmonary embolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas