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  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

A complication of port-a-cath: disconnection and migration of central venous catheter to pulmonary artery. A case report.

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
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Critical Ultrasound Journal20124 (Suppl 1) :A24

  • Published:


  • Breast Cancer
  • Catheter
  • Pulmonary Artery
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Local Anesthesia

A 50 year old woman, with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Login to removal because of the disconnection between the catheter and the subcutaneous port, diagnosed in routine check. In this case the X-ray showed the disconnection between the catheter and the subcutaneous port. And the consequent migration of the catheter, through cardiac cavities, into the pulmonary artery. Embolized catheter was removed by interventional radiology, under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation.The retrieval of the fragment was performed successfully using a snare catheter passed through the right femoral vein.


The central venous cannulation and placement of permanent vascular access is a common technique in cancer patients. This is an invasive procedure, non-therapeutic or curative in itself, which can lead to serious complications, even death.

The iconography of this case demonstrates a mechanical complication, potentially severe and rare placement of a port-a-cath. Embolized catheters can be removed by interventional radiology without significant adverse affects. The patient recovered without complications.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Anesthesiology, Hospital Arnau de Vilanova, Lleida, Spain


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© Pinilla et al; licensee Springer. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.