[Catheter fracture and embolization: a rare complication of a permanent implanted intravenous catheter system]

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2000 Jul 8;144(28):1360-3.
[Article in Dutch]


An implantable venous access system was used in a 55-year-old woman with metastatic breast cancer for the delivery of chemotherapy. Four months after implantation the catheter was resistant to the injection of fluids. A chest X-ray showed fracture of the catheter with embolisation to the right pulmonary artery. Analysis of the fractured catheter after removal showed that the fracture was caused by catheter pinch-off. Catheter pinch-off is caused by friction of the catheter between the clavicle and the first rib. The incidence of this rare complication is estimated at 0.1-1%. The incidence of catheter pinch-off can be reduced by a lateral insertion technique and by radiographic monitoring after implantation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Embolism / etiology*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Reoperation
  • Subclavian Vein / diagnostic imaging


  • Antineoplastic Agents