The “Starfield” Pattern of Cerebral Fat Embolism From Bone Marrow Necrosis in Sickle Cell Crisis

4 Scopus citations


Sickle cell disease may manifest with cerebrovascular and systemic complications. Sickle crisis that results in avascular necrosis of long bones with resultant cerebral fat embolism syndrome is rare and has a characteristic “starfield” pattern on MRI. This “starfield” MRI pattern should raise suspicion for sickle cell crisis in patients without a known history of the disease, which can lead to earlier sickle cell red blood cell exchange transfusion and treatment. We present a case of a male who presented emergently with acute seizure, coma with a characteristic MRI pattern, which lead to the diagnosis of avascular bone marrow necrosis and cerebral fat embolism syndrome from sickle cell crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-76
Number of pages3
JournalThe Neurohospitalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015



  • bone marrow necrosis
  • cerebral fat embolism syndrome
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • seizure
  • sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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