Background: Gas emboli are both a rare cause of stroke and a rare complication following thoracoscopic surgery. There are only few case reports of this condition in the literature.
Case Presentation: A 70-year-old female developed an acute alteration of conscious state with quadriparesis after thoracoscopic lung resection that used carbon dioxide insufflation. She developed clinical and radiological signs consistent with an embolic stroke of central origin. Progressive, partial neurological recovery was observed over several weeks.
Conclusion: This case illustrates the usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging in diagnosing an unusual form of acute ischemic stroke and illuminating its pathophysiological mechanism.
Key words: Embolism, brain, stroke, infarction, carbon dioxide, lung resection