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Cardiac Arrest During Laparotomy With Argon Beam Coagulation of Metastatic Ovarian Cancer
  1. Nora Kizer, MD,
  2. Israel Zighelboim, MD and
  3. Janet S. Rader, MD
  1. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University School of Medicine and Siteman Comprehensive Cancer Center, St Louis, MO.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Nora Kizer, MD, 4911 Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 5th Floor Maternity Bldg, Saint Louis, MO 63110. E-mail: kizern{at}


Background: The argon beam coagulation (ABC) is a safe and effective tool for surgical cytoreduction of metastatic ovarian carcinomas.

Case: A 66-year-old woman with newly diagnosed advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer underwent primary cytoreductive surgery involving ABC of tumor implants. Intraoperatively, she experienced cardiac arrest during use of the ABC. She was successfully resuscitated. The etiology of the arrest was thought to be secondary to a venous gas embolism.

Conclusions: The risk associated with venous gas embolism in a laparotomy case is exceedingly low. This is the first case report of venous gas embolism during ABC in a surgical procedure for gynecologic malignancy. Proper monitoring and support services should always be immediately available when using ABC.

  • Argon beam coagulation
  • Venous gas embolism
  • Ovarian carcinoma

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