Sickle cell disease and fat embolism: a rare complication of vaso-occlusive crisis

A 61-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital for management of a painful vaso-occlusive crisis. She had a history of sickle cell beta-thalassaemia and end-stage renal disease managed with intermittent haemodialysis. While hospitalised, she became lethargic and unresponsive and developed acute chest syndrome. Initial MR scan of brain, cerebrospinal fluid examination and continuous electroencephalogram were unremarkable, but subsequent MR scan of brain identified a right transverse venous sinus thrombosis and extensive supratentorial and infratentorial microhaemorrhages consistent with fat emboli. We; therefore, discuss a case of non-traumatic fat embolism syndrome, a rare complication of sickle cell disease.

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