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Minghui, Z., Hujun, C., Li, M., Weidan, C., Yanqin, C. and Xinxin, C. (2015) Iatrogenic acute cardiac tamponade during percutaneous removal of a fractured peripherally inserted central catheter in a premature neonate. Heart & Lung. June 20th. .


Acute cardiac tamponade (ACT) is a life-threatening complication associated with a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) in premature neonates. We present a case of ACT in a 4-day-old male infant. On the second admission day, a PICC was inserted. After 2.5 months, chest radiography showed PICC fracture, and its distal portion had migrated into the right pulmonary artery. Percutaneous removal through cardiac catheterization was attempted. However, right ventriculography demonstrated intrapericardial spillage of contrast agents, and iatrogenic ACT was confirmed. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was immediately started with open-chest cardiac massage. Further surgical exploration revealed right atrial appendage perforation. After 25-min CPR, the patient restored spontaneous circulation, and removal of the foreign bodies was performed. The post-operative course was uneventful. PICC fracture is an uncommon complication, but may be life-threatening. Precaution should be taken to avoid ACT during removal of a broken PICC. Once the tamponade is diagnosed, immediate interventions are mandatory.

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