Fracture and cardiac migration of an implanted venous catheter

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Objective: Distal embolization of a fractured indwelling central catheter is a rare life-threatening complication. Interventional radiologic techniques are often successfully used to retrieve the fractured tip but in rare cases, a surgical intervention is needed. Methods: We present a case in which radiologic methods failed to remove the embolized fragment because of multiple venous occlusions, and a cardiotomy was finally necessary. Results: After right atriotomy, the fractured embolized tip was successfully removed, as well as the proximal portion. Conclusions: Implanted catheters should be removed after completion of treatment, or the integrity of the system should be monitored on a regular basis. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Sattari, M., Kazory, A., & Phillips, R. A. (2003). Fracture and cardiac migration of an implanted venous catheter. Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, 2(4), 532–533.

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