Techniques for Intravascular Foreign Body Retrieval


As endovascular therapies increase in frequency, the incidence of lost or embolized foreign bodies is increasing. The presence of an intravascular foreign body (IFB) is well recognized to have the potential to cause serious complications. IFB can embolize and impact critical sites such as the heart, with subsequent significant morbidity or mortality. Intravascular foreign bodies most commonly result from embolized central line fragments, but they can originate from many sources, both iatrogenic and noniatrogenic. The percutaneous approach in removing an IFB is widely perceived as the best way to retrieve endovascular foreign bodies. This minimally invasive approach has a high success rate with a low associated morbidity, and it avoids the complications related to open surgical approaches. We examined the characteristics, causes, and incidence of endovascular embolizations and reviewed the various described techniques that have been used to facilitate subsequent explantation of such materials.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


  1. 1.

    Turner DD, Sommers SC (1954) Accidental passage of a polyethylene catheter from cubital vein to right atrium; report of a fatal case. N Engl J Med 251:744–745

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Thomas J, Sinclair-Smith B, Bloomfield D, Davachi A (1964) Non-surgical retrieval of a broken segment of steel spring guide from the right atrium and inferior vena cava. Circulation 30:106–108

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Yeung LY, Hastings GS, Alexander JQ (2010) Endovascular retrieval of inferior vena cava filter penetrating into aorta: an unusual presentation of abdominal pain. Vasc Endovascular Surg 44:683–686

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Schroeder ME, Pryor HI 2nd, Chun AK et al (2011) Retrograde migration and endovascular retrieval of a venous bullet embolus. J Vasc Surg 53:1113–1115

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Struck MF, Kaden I, Heiser A, Steen M (2008) Cross-over endovascular retrieval of a lost guide wire from the subclavian vein. J Vasc Access 9:304–306

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Tapping CR, Gallo A, De Silva RJ, Uberoi R (in press) A close cut: a technical report of endovascular removal of a penetrating intravascular foreign body after a lawn mowing injury. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol

  7. 7.

    Alexandre M, Sebastin T, Vikramaditya P (2009) Combined surgical and endovascular retrieval of a migrated rigid mitral valve ring. J Vasc Interv Radiol 20:1101–1102

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Guimaraes M, Denton CE, Uflacker R et al (2012) Percutaneous retrieval of an Amplatzer septal occluder device that had migrated to the aortic arch. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 35:430–433

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Adegboyega PA, Sustento-Reodica N, Adesokan A (1996) Arterial bullet embolism resulting in delayed vascular insufficiency: a rationale for mandatory extraction. J Trauma 41:539–541

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Egglin TK, Dickey KW, Rosenblatt M, Pollak JS (1995) Retrieval of intravascular foreign bodies: experience in 32 cases. AJR Am J Roentgenol 164:1259–1264

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Eggebrecht H, Haude M, von Birgelen C et al (2000) Nonsurgical retrieval of embolized coronary stents. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv 51:432–440

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Foster-Smith KW, Garratt KN, Higano ST, Holmes DR Jr (1993) Retrieval techniques for managing flexible intracoronary stent misplacement. Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn 30:63–68

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Brilakis ES, Best PJ, Elesber AA et al (2005) Incidence, retrieval methods, and outcomes of stent loss during percutaneous coronary intervention: a large single-center experience. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv 66:333–340

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Mallmann CV, Wolf KJ, Wacker FK (2008) Retrieval of vascular foreign bodies using a self-made wire snare. Acta Radiol 49:1124–1128

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Seong CK, Kim YJ, Chung JW et al (2002) Tubular foreign body or stent: safe retrieval or repositioning using the coaxial snare technique. Korean J Radiol 3:30–37

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Sheth R, Someshwar V, Warawdekar G (2007) Percutaneous retrieval of misplaced intravascular foreign objects with the Dormia basket: an effective solution. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 30:48–53

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Rozenman Y, Burstein M, Hasin Y, Gotsman MS (1995) Retrieval of occluding unexpanded Palmaz-Schatz stent from a saphenous aorto-coronary vein graft. Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn 34:159–161

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Cishek MB, Laslett L, Gershony G (1995) Balloon catheter retrieval of dislodged coronary artery stents: a novel technique. Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn 34:350–352

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Kirby JM, Guo XF, Midia M (2011) Repositioning of covered stents: the grip technique. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 34:615–619

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Gabelmann A, Kramer S, Gorich J (2001) Percutaneous retrieval of lost or misplaced intravascular objects. AJR Am J Roentgenol 176:1509–1513

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Lee CY (2011) Use of wire as a snare for endovascular retrieval of displaced or stretched coils: rescue from a technical complication. Neuroradiology 53:31–35

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Brilakis ES, Abdel-Karim AR, Banerjee S (2011) Hairpin-trap: a novel stent retrieval technique. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv 77:213–216

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Eeckhout E, Stauffer JC, Goy JJ (1993) Retrieval of a migrated coronary stent by means of an alligator forceps catheter. Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn 30:166–168

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Berder V, Bedossa M, Gras D et al (1993) Retrieval of a lost coronary stent from the descending aorta using a PTCA balloon and biopsy forceps. Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn 28:351–353

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Boersma D, van Strijen MJ, Kloppenburg GT et al (2012) Endovascular retrieval of a dislodged femoral arterial closure device with alligator forceps. J Vasc Surg 55:1150–1152

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Bernhardt LC, Wegner GP, Mendenhall JT (1970) Intravenous catheter embolization to the pulmonary artery. Chest 57:329–332

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Fisher RG, Ferreyro R (1978) Evaluation of current techniques for nonsurgical removal of intravascular iatrogenic foreign bodies. AJR Am J Roentgenol 130:541–548

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Wolf F, Schernthaner RE, Dirisamer A et al (2008) Endovascular management of lost or misplaced intravascular objects: experiences of 12 years. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 31:563–568

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Raman Uberoi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Woodhouse, J.B., Uberoi, R. Techniques for Intravascular Foreign Body Retrieval. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 36, 888–897 (2013).

Download citation


  • Device removal
  • Endovascular procedures
  • Foreign bodies
  • Interventional radiology