Inadvertent insertion of a venous catheter into the internal thoracic vein: a word of caution

Implante inadvertido de cateter venoso central na veia torácica interna: um alerta

Flavia Ramos Tristão Ricardo César Rocha Moreira Carlos Eduardo Del Valle Giana Caroline Strack Neves About the authors

Abstract

Central venous catheters are widely used in clinical practice and are linked to many types of complications, including incorrect positioning at the time the catheter is fitted. Here, the authors describe a case in which a fully implantable catheter was inadvertently positioned in the right internal thoracic vein. The complication was identified when the nursing team attempted to use the catheter. The right internal thoracic vein is within the radiographic projection of the right brachiocephalic vein and the superior vena cava, simulating correct catheter placement on an anteroposterior radiograph. In cases of central catheter malfunction during the immediate postoperative period, work-up should include oblique and lateral views, to rule out the complication described here without a need for computed tomography.

Keywords:
catheters; adjuvant chemotherapy; vascular surgical procedures

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