Purpose: This study describes several cases of endovascular coil embolization of the proximal internal mammary artery injured by blind approach to the subclavian vein for central venous catheter or pacemaker lead insertion. Materials and methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of five patients with iatrogenic arterial lesions of the internal mammary artery (IMA). The lesions occurred in three patients from a puncture of the subclavian vein during insertion of a central venous catheter and in two patients from a puncture of the subclavian vein for insertion of a pacemaker lead. Four patients had acute symptoms of bleeding with mediastinal hematoma and hematothorax and one patient was investigated in a chronic stage. A pseudoaneurysm was detected in all five patients. All four acute and hemodynamic unstable patients required hemodynamic support. Results: In all patients, embolization was performed using a coaxial catheter technique, and a long segment of the IMA adjacent distally and proximally to the source of bleeding was occluded with pushable microcoils. In one patient, additional mechanically detachable microcoils were used at the very proximal part of the IMA. Microcoil embolization of the IMA was successful in all patients, and the source of bleeding was eliminated in all patients. Conclusion: Transarterial coil embolization is a feasible and efficient method in treating acute bleeding and pseudoaneurysm of the IMA and should be considered if mediastinal hematoma or hemathorax occurs after blind puncture of the subclavian vein. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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