Management of catheter emboli

South Med J. 1996 Jul;89(7):714-7. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199607000-00013.


Catheter emboli are a significant risk to patient well-being. With a 49% complication rate for indwelling catheter emboli, the consensus is that these foreign bodies should be removed. Preferably, the emboli are removed by percutaneous extraction; however, if the emboli are in the heart or central vasculature and percutaneous extraction fails, then thoracotomy with operative removal is necessary. We analyze the literature on catheter emboli and present a case showing that extraction of embolized fragments is not always possible.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brachiocephalic Veins
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Embolism / etiology*
  • Embolism / therapy*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vena Cava, Superior


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents