PMID: 3275454Jan 1, 1988Paper

Cardiopulmonary needle embolization: a complication of central venous drug abuse

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
M C Horattas, D W Moorman


A great variety of complications secondary to drug abuse have been reported in the literature. We report a case of multiple cardiopulmonary needle embolization. A drug addict who had resorted to central venous drug abuse was found on chest roentgenograms to have multiple asymptomatic needle fragments within her chest. In this instance chest roentgenograms and tomographs were more helpful in needle localization than computed tomography. Complications of intracardiac foreign bodies are also briefly reviewed. In attempts to diagnose this complication, a high index of suspicion is necessary as central venous drug abuse becomes increasingly more prevalent.


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