Calcified catheter "cast" masquerading as a retained catheter fragment after removal of an implanted venous access device

Pediatr Surg Int. 2007 Sep;23(9):927-30. doi: 10.1007/s00383-007-1911-0.


Calcified catheter "cast" found on radiologic studies after central venous catheter removal is a rare complication that has been reported twice. Both cases were associated with thrombus. In this case report, we present a 15-year-old boy with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who demonstrated on CT scan a radiopacity in his left brachiocephalic vein after removal of an implanted venous access device. This was initially thought to be a retained catheter fragment. Diagnostic studies, including venogram, excluded the presence of a retained catheter fragment. Additional procedures to retrieve a nonexistent catheter fragment were thus avoided. Therefore, a catheter "cast" should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis when calcification is found on an imaging study after removal of an implantable venous access device to prevent an unwarranted surgical exploration.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brachiocephalic Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis*
  • Calcinosis / etiology
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects
  • Device Removal / adverse effects*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phlebography
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed