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Acupunct Med. 2012 Sep;30(3):229-32. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2012-010191. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

An acupuncture needle remaining in a lung for 17 years: case study and review.

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  • 1The First Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Poland. pawel.lewek@umed.lodz.pl

Abstract

The case of a 67-year-old patient with an acupuncture needle remaining in his left lung is described. This foreign body was a remnant of a procedure performed by a doctor 17 years previously for osteoarthritic back pain. On the basis of this case, a review was performed of literature available in the PubMed database dealing with acupuncture needles remaining in a patient's body. A total of 25 articles were found. The articles describe needles found in the bladder, shoulder girdle, spinal cord, right ventricle, L5 nerve root, medulla oblongata, skin, carpal tunnel, nuchal and occipital area, calf and paraspinal muscle. Migration of needle fragments to the liver, pancreas, stomach, colon, breast, kidney, muscles, and spinal cord has been reported in the literature. In cases where patients were operated on, the needles were removed without subsequent complications and the patients recovered fully.

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