Subcutaneous acupuncture needle fragments

Case contributed by Dr J. Ray Ballinger


Korean male with chest pain.

Patient Data

Age: 75 years
Gender: Male
Dozens of short pieces of wire are noted in the subcutaneous soft tissues overlying the shoulders and back.

Case Discussion

Some forms of acupuncture involve the deliberate placement of "permanent" silver or gold needles into the patient. These are typically ~1 cm in length and at one time may have been needles broken off deliberately but more recently involve the injection of short needles using a spring-loaded syringe. Though they are intended to remain subcutaneous, reports of migration into the abdomen and chest are present with resulting complications.

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Case information

rID: 23689
Published: 3rd Jul 2013
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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