Retrieval and repositioning of an embolized atrial septal defect closure device using a gooseneck snare

Egypt Heart J. 2021 Jun 5;73(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s43044-021-00175-4.


Background: Closure of all haemodynamically significant atrial septal defects (ASDs) is recommended irrespective of symptoms. Percutaneous device closure offers a favourable alternative to surgery with lower morbidity, shorter duration of hospital stays, and avoidance of a surgical scar. Though device closure is generally a safe procedure with high success rates, certain complications can arise including device embolization which poses a significant challenge for the treating team. We report one such case in which the ASD closure device got spontaneously released and embolized from the delivery cable into the left atrium prior to its deployment. We describe our approach for its retrieval and subsequently its successful deployment across the septal defect using a gooseneck snare.

Case presentation: A 5-year-old asymptomatic child was found to have a murmur on a routine check-up. Evaluation revealed a haemodynamically significant, 18-mm ostium secundum ASD with normal pulmonary pressures and suitable margins for device closure. A 20-mm ASD closure device was traversed via an 8-Fr delivery system. While manipulating the left atrial (LA) disc from the right upper pulmonary vein (RUPV) approach, the device got spontaneously released. The right atrial (RA) disc was caught across the ASD, into the left atrium. This was confirmed by intraoperative transthoracic echocardiography and fluoroscopy. The haemodynamics and rhythm were stable. A 20-mm gooseneck snare was immediately passed through the delivery sheath and an attempt was made to catch the screw. With difficulty, the RA screw was caught with the snare and multiple attempts to retrieve the device into the sheath were unsuccessful. However, while negotiating, we were able to secure a favourable position of the device across the atrial septal defect, and after fluoroscopic and echocardiographic confirmation, the device was released. The child remained stable thereafter and was discharged 2 days later.

Conclusions: Gooseneck snare is a valuable tool in the management of embolized ASD closure device. Occasionally, like in the index case, one may be successful in retrieving the embolized device and repositioning it across the ASD using a gooseneck snare, thus obviating the need for emergency surgery.

Keywords: Atrial septal defect; Device embolization; Snare; Transcatheter device closure.