Extraction of extraneous matter from the heart or pulmonary vascular tree

In patients with long intravenous treatments, a central line is often established with catheters. However, such catheters can break and are often embolised to the right cavities, or even to the pulmonary vascular tree. This can occur in both adults and paediatric patients. Extraneous matter can also be derived from pacemaker wires or guides in percutaneous therapeutic procedures, and implant devices can embolise.

These extraneous fragments can cause infections or clots that could also embolise, so they have to be removed. Although there is always a surgical option, it is more common to use catheterism, through a vein or an artery, depending on where the extraneous matter is lodged, with a loop catheter to capture one of the ends.

This procedure’s complexity depends on where the matter is lodged and the type of extraneous matter in question. The most complex are lodged in cardiac cavities and when large devices are involved, as they have to be captured by a part that enables them to fold over a cannula. In our experience, we have removed all kinds of extraneous matter in both systems, and the procedure can be classified as safe.

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