Retained intrathecal catheter fragment after spinal drain insertion steps for prevention and management

Akara Forsythe, Anita Gupta, Steven P. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: The placement of lumbar spinal drains is being done with increasing frequency to facilitate high-risk surgical procedures. One risk associated with these procedures is catheter shearing, resulting in a retained foreign body in the intrathecal space. Unlike retained epidural fragments, there are no guidelines on the management of this complication. The purpose of this article was to synthesize the literature on this subject to come up with guidelines for preventing and managing this complication. Methods: Case report and review of all published cases. Results: Most cases of retained catheters are associated with difficulty inserting or advancing the catheter. Among those cases treated conservatively, approximately one third of patients developed symptoms. Factors that must be considered when weighing the decision to surgically remove the retained catheter include patient comorbidities and desires, size and location of the fragment, infectious risk, the presence of neurologic symptoms, and scheduled surgical procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-378
Number of pages4
JournalRegional anesthesia and pain medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Retained intrathecal catheter fragment after spinal drain insertion steps for prevention and management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this