Allergy Asthma Respir Dis.  2013 Mar;1(1):94-97. 10.4168/aard.2013.1.1.94.

A case of fat embolism syndrome in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis patient

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Fat embolism syndrome is a serious complication that can occur after trauma or operation of the limbs. Clinical criteria are used for the diagnosis of fat embolism syndrome and sometimes radiologic findings are helpful. Fat embolism syndrome is known to occur less frequently in children than in adults, but there is an increased risk in children with connective tissue disease. However, there are only a few reported cases of fat embolism syndrome in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which is the most common connective tissue disease in children. We report a case of fat embolism syndrome diagnosed in a 13-year-old boy with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which was treated with corticosteroid.


Fat embolism; Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

MeSH Terms

Arthritis, Juvenile Rheumatoid
Connective Tissue Diseases
Embolism, Fat


  • Fig. 1 Initial chest computed tomographic scan shows ground-glass opacities at the left lower lobe (arrows).

  • Fig. 2 (A) Chest radiograph obtained 2 days after admission revealed bilateral diffuse haziness. (B) Follow-up chest computed tomographic scans obtained on the same day demonstrate multiple small nodules (arrows) and diffuse ground-glass opacities in both lungs.

  • Fig. 3 Fundus exam shows multiple white patches in the right fundus with an embolic infarct at the macula.

  • Fig. 4 Ten days later, nodular and ground-glass opacities on chest computed tomography were completely resolved.


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