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Research Letter |

Pulmonary Gas Exchange After Foam Sclerotherapy

Leo Moro, MD1; Isaura Rossi Bartoli, MD1; Matteo Cesari, MD1; Simone Scarlata, MD1; Francesco-Maria Serino, MD2; Raffaele Antonelli Incalzi, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Geriatrics, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy
2Unit of Food and Nutrition, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy
JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(2):207-209. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.6092.
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Foam sclerotherapy (FS) is a safe and effective procedure. Indeed, transient ischemic attacks and pulmonary complications are usually mild, although stroke and pulmonary embolism events have occasionally been reported.1 It has been speculated that gas microemboli, passing through the heart, may reach the lungs or, through a right-to-left shunt, the cerebral arteries. However, no treatment modification could completely prevent the cephalic dissemination of air bubbles. In an analogy with decompression sickness, a venous gas microembolization should lead to some loss of gas exchange surface, with consequent gas exchange abnormalities and reduction in the transfer factor of the lung for carbon monoxide (TLco). The aim of this proof-of-concept study was to verify whether TLco worsens after FS treatment.

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