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Case report
Intracranial entrapment of a haemodialysis catheter guidewire
  1. Natasha Hemicke Langer1,
  2. Lars Hein1 and
  3. Morten Heiberg Bestle1,2
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Nordsjaellands Hospital, Hillerod, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Clinical Medicine, Nordsjaellands Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Hillerod, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Natasha Hemicke Langer; Natashahlanger{at}


A 49-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was hospitalised due to pneumonia and pulmonary embolisms. After subsequently developing septic shock and acute renal failure, he required dialysis. A haemodialysis catheter was planned inserted into the right subclavian vein, the guidewire was introduced using the Seldinger technique. When the guidewire’s 20 cm marker entered the introducer needle, it suddenly encountered resistance. Repeated attempts to remove the guidewire failed. Vital signs and haemodynamic parameters remained unchanged throughout the procedure. CT angiography revealed cranial displacement of the wire into the right internal jugular vein, with the tip of the wire just cranial to the jugular foramen in the right sigmoid sinus. Interventional radiological removal attempts were unsuccessful. Thoracic and neurosurgical interventions were considered impossible and the guidewire was left in place. Due to the pulmonary embolism and the foreign object in the patient, life-long anticoagulation was considered, with close monitoring of compliance with the patient’s comorbidity and medication.

  • anaesthesia
  • intensive care
  • adult intensive care

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  • Contributors NHL took the lead in writing the manuscript with support from LH and MHB. LH and MHB helped supervise the project and conceived the original idea. All authors provided critical feedback and helped shape the research, analysis and manuscript.

  • 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.

  • Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.

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

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