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Case Reports in Critical Care
Volume 2015, Article ID 265326, 6 pages
Case Report

Ventricular Tachycardia from a Central Line Fracture Fragment Embolus: A Rare Complication of a Commonly Used Procedure—A Case Report and Review of the Relevant Literature

Department of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Received 23 August 2015; Accepted 19 November 2015

Academic Editor: Claudius Diez

Copyright © 2015 Saptarshi Biswas and Patrick McNerney. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A 22-year-old male admitted with multiple gunshot wounds (GSW) had central line placed initially for hemodynamic monitoring and later for long term antibiotics and total parenteral nutrition (TPN). On postoperative day 4 he presented with bouts of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia; the cause was unknown initially and later attributed to a catheter fragment accidentally severed and lodged in the right heart. Percutaneous retrieval technique was used to successfully extract the catheter fragment and complete recovery was achieved.