BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-200049

Pulmonary artery catheter coiled in the main pulmonary artery trunk

  1. Sidney Tessler
  1. Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sidney Tessler, stessler{at}


Pulmonary artery (PA) catheterisation has been performed for over four decades. It is utilised in intensive care units and perioperatively to titrate fluid and pressor therapy. Major and minor complications have been reported. The catheter can infrequently loop and coil in the right atrium, right ventricle and superior vena cava .We report a case of coiling of the PA catheter in the main PA. A 33-year-old woman was admitted with multiorgan failure and shock. She required mechanical ventilation, was in severe pulmonary oedema and required vasopressors for shock. We placed a PA catheter to assist in the management of her haemodynamic collapse. The catheter coiled in the main pulmonary trunk, which is extremely rare. The catheter was removed without any complications.

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