Renal vascular injury during percutaneous nephrolithotomy and migration of a double-J catheter fragment into pulmonary artery in the following nephrectomy - A case report

Ji Leih Wu, Cheng Yu Chen, Shu Fen Yang, Chao Liang Chen, Yung Tai Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


A 60-year-old male underwent percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) for left renal stone at a community hospital. The surgery was, in general, unremarkable and a double-J ureteral catheter was placed before completion of surgery. Dyspnea, irritability, hypotension and flank pain developed in the recovery room. In addition, pleural effusion and elevation of the left hemidiaphragm were revealed on chest roentgenogram, and mild hypoxemia and respiratory acidosis were also detected by gas analysis. He was transferred to our hospital for further management. After arrival at our hospital, we decided to reintubate the patient and transfer him to the intensive care unit (ICU). There, the vital signs deteriorated, so an emergent laparotomy was performed and left nephrectomy was done because of severe and unmanageable renal hemorrhage. A catheter fragment was found to be missing after left kidney was dissected. During the search for the missing fragment, pulseless electrical activity (PEA) happened. The patient recovered shortly after the use of vasopressors. Postoperatively, a chest X-ray (CXR) taken to search for the missing section of the cather revealed that there was a catheter-like foreign body in the heart, which was also demonstrated by computed tomography (CT) scan. The catheter fragment was quickly removed soon via percutaneous angiography. The patient was discharged 2 weeks later. We present this case with two iatrogenic complications, each in two consecutive renal procedures, to emphasize the importance of vigilance in anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-261
Number of pages5
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Catheters
  • Indwelling
  • Intraoperative complications
  • Nephrectomy
  • Ureter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this