Detection of retained surgical sponge by transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2003 Nov;16(11):1191-3. doi: 10.1067/S0894-7317(03)00587-X.


We describe an unusual case of extracardiac mass in a patient who was assymptomatic and submitted to an open-chest coronary artery bypass operation 5 years previously. Transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography revealed a rounded mass compressing the right atrium with a thick contour surrounding a heterogeneous center, suggestive of foreign body. Magnetic resonance imaging identified the mass as a pericardial cyst. Operation revealed a fibrinous cyst encapsulating a sponge. This case illustrates the central role of echocardiography for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with suspected retained surgical sponges.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Echocardiography*
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal*
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / diagnosis
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / etiology*
  • Heart Atria / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mediastinal Cyst / diagnosis
  • Mediastinal Cyst / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Surgical Sponges / adverse effects*