Background: We report the peculiar case of a patient with a retained large epidural catheter fragment, incidentally found 12 years after its placement. Our primary aim is to emphasize how the breakage and retention of even exceptionally large portions of this device can go undetected. The patient can be completely asymptomatic and, with no clue that such a foreign body exists, the presentation of its potential complications can be subtle and misleading. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of the incidental discovery of such a large fragment so many years after its placement. No consensus exists about how to handle this complication, therefore our report adds to the amount of available evidence. Case Presentation: A 53-year-old caucasian female with a history of diverticulitis requiring multiple hospitalizations underwent laparoscopic sigmoidectomy. The early postoperative period was complicated by peritonitis, demanding an urgent "second-look" exploratory laparoscopy. Nine days post-operatively, a filiform metallic object in the upper-quadrant was noted on x-ray. No epidural had been placed for either one of her recent surgeries. Given the patient's history, the object was initially thought to be a retained surgical sponge. Previous studies, however, showed that the same image was already present preoperatively. Upon further questioning, the patient reported an epidural being placed twelve years before, at the time of her pregnancy. No mention of breakage had been made to her at that time, nor a retained foreign body was ever reported afterwards, despite her many imaging exams. She also never experienced any symptoms. A 15 cm fragment of a wire-reinforced catheter was surgically retrieved under local anesthesia and fluoroscopic guidance. Conclusion: Breakage of the epidural catheter with fragment retention is a known complication of this device, possibly leading to devastating sequelae. The fragment can go undetected for years. In this case our finding was incidental and the patient was asymptomatic. However, in the event a neurologic complication arose, the identification of the unknowingly retained epidural as the causative agent could have been difficult and delayed, with potential harm to the patient.

Pinciroli, R., Fumagalli, R. (2015). The unexpected epidural: A case report. BMC ANESTHESIOLOGY, 15(1) [10.1186/s12871-015-0062-4].

The unexpected epidural: A case report

PINCIROLI, RICCARDO
Primo
;
FUMAGALLI, ROBERTO
Ultimo
2015

Abstract

Background: We report the peculiar case of a patient with a retained large epidural catheter fragment, incidentally found 12 years after its placement. Our primary aim is to emphasize how the breakage and retention of even exceptionally large portions of this device can go undetected. The patient can be completely asymptomatic and, with no clue that such a foreign body exists, the presentation of its potential complications can be subtle and misleading. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of the incidental discovery of such a large fragment so many years after its placement. No consensus exists about how to handle this complication, therefore our report adds to the amount of available evidence. Case Presentation: A 53-year-old caucasian female with a history of diverticulitis requiring multiple hospitalizations underwent laparoscopic sigmoidectomy. The early postoperative period was complicated by peritonitis, demanding an urgent "second-look" exploratory laparoscopy. Nine days post-operatively, a filiform metallic object in the upper-quadrant was noted on x-ray. No epidural had been placed for either one of her recent surgeries. Given the patient's history, the object was initially thought to be a retained surgical sponge. Previous studies, however, showed that the same image was already present preoperatively. Upon further questioning, the patient reported an epidural being placed twelve years before, at the time of her pregnancy. No mention of breakage had been made to her at that time, nor a retained foreign body was ever reported afterwards, despite her many imaging exams. She also never experienced any symptoms. A 15 cm fragment of a wire-reinforced catheter was surgically retrieved under local anesthesia and fluoroscopic guidance. Conclusion: Breakage of the epidural catheter with fragment retention is a known complication of this device, possibly leading to devastating sequelae. The fragment can go undetected for years. In this case our finding was incidental and the patient was asymptomatic. However, in the event a neurologic complication arose, the identification of the unknowingly retained epidural as the causative agent could have been difficult and delayed, with potential harm to the patient.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Epidural
English
Pinciroli, R., Fumagalli, R. (2015). The unexpected epidural: A case report. BMC ANESTHESIOLOGY, 15(1) [10.1186/s12871-015-0062-4].
Pinciroli, R; Fumagalli, R
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
10281-146708.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia di allegato: Publisher’s Version (Version of Record, VoR)
Dimensione 583.1 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
583.1 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/146708
Citazioni
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
Social impact