Retrograde migration and endovascular retrieval of a venous bullet embolus

J Vasc Surg. 2011 Apr;53(4):1113-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2010.11.046. Epub 2011 Jan 7.


Venous bullet embolism is a rare and complicated occurrence reported in approximately 0.3% of penetrating trauma. The management of bullet emboli is decided on a case-by-case basis, balancing the risk of the embolus itself against those associated with extraction. We report a case of a 19-year-old man who sustained a gunshot wound to the anterior chest, which migrated to the left internal iliac vein in a retrograde fashion. We were able to successfully retrieve the missile using an endovascular approach, thereby minimizing the morbidity associated with an open procedure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Embolism / etiology
  • Embolism / therapy*
  • Endovascular Procedures*
  • Enoxaparin
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnostic imaging
  • Foreign-Body Migration / etiology
  • Foreign-Body Migration / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Iliac Vein* / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds, Gunshot / complications
  • Wounds, Gunshot / diagnostic imaging
  • Wounds, Gunshot / therapy*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin