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Spinal Pain
Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2010;5(3):192-195.
Published online July 31, 2010.
Breakage of thoracic epidural catheter: How can we deal with it?: A report of 2 cases
Dong Hwa Jun, Kun Moo Lee, Kwang Rae Cho, Young Hwan Kim, Se Hun Lim, Jeong Han Lee, Soon Ho Cheong, Young Jae Kim, Chee Mahn Shin
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Busan Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University, Busan, Korea.
Breakage of epidural catheter during insertion and removal is a rare but dilemmatic complication. Although it is favorable to remove a broken catheter entrapped in tissue, there is a controversy about whether retained fragments should be managed even in asymptomatic patients. We experienced two cases of breakage of epidural catheter in patients with thoracic epidural analgesia. One case happened during removing of the entire catheter and needle together and the other, during the removal of the catheter alone. Because neurologic or infective complications were not detected until 14 days after the events, surgical interventions were withheld. In both cases, there were no sequelae on long-term follow up.
Key Words: Analgesia, Catheterization, Complications, Epidural

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