Spontaneous fracture and embolization of a central venous catheter: prevention and early detection

C E Coles, W P Whitear, J H Le Vay
Clinical Oncology: a Journal of the Royal College of Radiologists 1998, 10 (6): 412-4
Central venous catheters are used increasingly in oncology patients. Spontaneous fracture and embolization of a catheter is a rare complication. This report illustrates such a case, in which the fragment was retrieved percutaneously. Impending line fracture may be detected by the 'pinch-off sign' on a chest radiograph. Prevention may be possible by inserting the catheter more laterally.

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