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Infected chronic sinus secondary to a retained fragment of radial artery introducer sheath following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  1. Christopher George Ghazala1,
  2. Benjamin Alexander Marrow2,
  3. Dermot Kearney2 and
  4. John William Kenneth Harrison1
  1. 1 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead, UK
  2. 2 Department of Cardiology, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher George Ghazala, christopher.ghazala{at}


Coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are frequently performed procedures in the UK and the developed world, with the radial artery becoming the preferred route of access. A chronically retained macroscopic fragment of radial artery introducer sheath is a very rare complication that has not, to our knowledge, been reported. We report the case of a 62-year-old woman who underwent PCI and developed a persisting infected sinus and abscess at the cannulation site despite multiple courses of antibiotics. Surgical exploration of the forearm recovered a foreign body that was found in the brachioradialis muscle and resembled a fragment of hydrophilic sheath. In conclusion, this case highlights that it is possible to leave macroscopic fragments of hydrophilic sheaths in situ. This is likely to be encountered during difficult access, especially during arterial spasm, and it is advised that the sheath and any other vascular access device is thoroughly inspected following removal.

  • orthopaedics
  • interventional radiology
  • orthopaedic and trauma surgery
  • cardiovascular medicine
  • interventional cardiology

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  • CGG and BAM contributed equally.

  • Contributors CGG and BAM: drafted the case report according to the available medical records and the collective views of the authors. JWKH: read, edited and approved the manuscript for submission. DK: reviewed the case report and cardiology records, with the lead author, JWKH, to determine the specifics of the procedure relevant to the case report. CGG: prepared and submitted the manuscript to the journal.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.