Introduction: Breakage and fragment embolization is a rare but feared complication of peripherally inserted central catheter use. While chest radiographs are no longer the gold standard for determining peripherally inserted central catheter tip position, their use in diagnosing complications is still warranted. We report a case of occult catheter embolization discovered by routine chest X-ray.
Case description: A patient with a right brachial vein peripherally inserted central catheter was admitted to our Emergency Department for palpitations and dyspnea. The peripherally inserted central catheter was not visible at presentation, and she was unclear as to what had happened; she left the Emergency Department before workup was performed. Catheter embolization was discovered upon implantation of a new peripherally inserted central catheter.
Conclusion: Although routine chest radiographs are no longer necessary after peripherally inserted central catheter implantation, they are in diagnosing peripherally inserted central catheter-related complications even in asymptomatic patients. We discuss their use and the possible role of securement devices in preventing some instances of catheter embolization.
Baciarello M, Maspero G, Maestroni U, Palumbo G, Bellini V, Bignami E. X(-rays) sometimes mark the spot: A case of occult central venous catheter embolization. J Vasc Access. 2020;21(5):795-798. doi:10.1177/1129729819888122