Central venous catheter polymer pulmonary emboli explained

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Abstract:

Hydrophilic polymers are used to coat catheters and other intravascular devices. In general, these polymers have many salutary properties; however, in some instances, fragmentation of hydrophilic polymers coating intravascular devices can occur with fatal consequences.

This report details the histopathologic changes in the lung seen following polymer fragmentation and embolization from a central venous catheter. Polymer emboli detected microscopically are intravascular and consist of basophilic, lamellated, and nonrefractile elements. Typically, an inflammatory response is present to a variable degree. Embolization can result in severe tissue injury with ischemia and infarction.

Reference:

Rapkiewicz, A., Hood, B. and Hutchins, K. (2015) Fatal Case of Hydrophilic Polymer Emboli. Journal of Forensic Sciences. September 8th. [epub ahead of print].

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