This book says:

Pulmonary vasculature removes emboli before they reach into systemic circulation.

I can speculate that if the emboli are made of fat or clot then our body could degrade it but how does it removes air emboli?

Wikipedia without any citations just states:

Gas bubbles arising from decompression sickness are generally formed in the venous side of the systemic circulation, where inert gas concentrations are highest, the bubbles are smaller at first and they are generally trapped in the capillaries of the lungs where they will usually be eliminated without causing symptoms.

Could anyone provide a reliable source for it or a satisfying explanation?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Diffusion is the primary job of the lungs, so it's easy to see why this would happen more easily there; size is also a factor. In fact, large air emboli will eventually be removed from the right atrium if they spend significant time there just because gasses diffuse into liquids. (Breathing 100% O2 will help decrease the size of the embolus by speeding up nitrogen diffusion.) $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2017 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ So we can say that the air inside the microbubble will diffuse into atmosphere through alveoli ? $\endgroup$
    – JM97
    Feb 18, 2017 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that is safe to say. It's also safe to say that the gas will simply diffuse into the blood stream (the lungs are very blood-vessel rich) and go the route of all gasses in the blood stream. $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2017 at 17:26


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