Migrated sternotomy wire

Case contributed by Henry Knipe


Chest pain.

Patient Data

Age: 80 years
Gender: Male
Previous sternotomy. Within the anterior mediastinum approximately in a midline position at the level of the proximal ascending aorta is a fragmented curvilinear metallic density.
Migrated sternotomy wire lies in the mediastinum anterior to the ascending aorta, right auricle and right atrium.

Case Discussion

Migration of sternotomy wires is uncommon but have been reported to migrate into the tracheobronchial tree, heart, and great vessels. Complications such as pneumothorax and fatal hemorrhage have also been reported. 

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