Case Report

Incomplete Removal and Accidental Retention of Temporary Epicardial Pacing Wires in the Chest after Heart Surgery: A Case Report


Temporary pacemaker wires are commonly used for the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias in the acute postoperative period. We herein describe a 65-year-old woman with a history of coronary artery bypass graft surgery who was referred to the hospital with a purulent discharge in the lower third of the sternal region while on antibiotics. Two years later, following treatment failure, 2 sternal wires were removed. Several years after the surgery, the patient developed a purulent discharge. On suspicion of rib osteomyelitis, the last left cartilage attached to the sternum was excised and removed together with an infectious tract.

During the operation, the right ventricle was torn, and tampons were used to control bleeding. The patient was placed under cardiopulmonary bypass via the cannulation of the left femoral artery and the right femoral vein. The sternum was opened, and the rupture site was repaired. A temporary epicardial pacing wire was found at the site of the right ventricular rupture.  Several days later, the patient was taken from the intensive care unit to the operating room due to a pulsatile hematoma in the left groin and a diagnosis of a pseudoaneurysm of the femoral artery. After a week, the purulent discharge at the lower sternum improved, and the patient was discharged. At 1 month’s post-discharge follow-up, the infection was eradicated.

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IssueVol 16 No 3 (2021): J Teh Univ Heart Ctr QRcode
SectionCase Report(s)
Coronary artery bypass Pacemaker; artificial Postoperative complications

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How to Cite
khalili A, Jodati A, Rahimi M, Faravan A, Parizad R. Incomplete Removal and Accidental Retention of Temporary Epicardial Pacing Wires in the Chest after Heart Surgery: A Case Report. J Tehran Heart Cent. 2021;16(3):129-131.