Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Right ventricular needle embolus in an injecting drug user: the need for early removal
  1. D L Ngaage,
  2. M E Cowen
  1. Cardiothoracic Centre, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, East Yorkshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Mr Ngaage, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX, U K (dumbor{at}


This case report describes an unusual cardiac complication in a 22 year old, female injecting drug user. The retention of two fractured injection needles at the site of intravenous injection in the groin, and the subsequent embolisation of one to the right ventricle, predisposed to recurrent local and systemic infections, and endocarditis. Two years later, the needle was completely embedded in the wall of the right ventricle and not suitable for transvenous removal. Removal of the retained and/or embolised needle at an earlier stage would have precluded these complications.

  • right ventricle
  • needle embolus
  • recurrent endocarditis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.