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J Vasc Surg. 2006 Jan;43(1):180-3.

Acrylic cement pulmonary embolus masquerading as an embolized central venous catheter fragment.

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Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-3280, USA.


An acrylic cement pulmonary embolus is a rare complication of percutaneous vertebroplasty. Many patients remain completely asymptomatic, but others may present with chest discomfort, dyspnea, and even cardiovascular collapse leading to death. Here we present an asymptomatic patient initially thought to have a central venous catheter pulmonary artery embolus based on the morphology of the foreign body on imaging exams. A more thorough investigation established the diagnosis of an acrylic cement pulmonary embolus resulting from percutaneous vertebroplasty procedures performed many months before the embolus discovery. The diagnostic work-up, treatment strategy, and a review of the literature are presented.

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