Ischemic Toe Ulceration Due to Foreign Body Embolus From Hydrophilic Polymer-Coated Intravascular Device.

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Vascular and endovascular surgery


Hydrophilic polymer coatings are now widely applied to catheters and other intravascular devices used in neurovascular, cardiovascular, and peripheral vascular procedures. Emboli consisting of these materials have been previously identified in biopsies and autopsies following pulmonary infarction, stroke, gangrene, or death. We report a case involving a nonhealing foot ulcer that appeared following cardiac catheterization, stenting, and automatic implanted cardiac defibrillator (AICD) implantation in a patient without other evidence of significant peripheral artery disease. An 85-year-old woman with chronic atrial fibrillation, aortic valve stenosis, and coronary artery disease underwent coronary stenting and AICD implantation for ventricular tachycardia and syncope. She developed a toe ulcer shortly thereafter, which did not respond to standard treatment. A histological examination following amputation of the toe found amorphous basophilic material in capillaries adjacent to the edge of the ulcer, which was similar to material associated with hydrophilic polymer coatings. Ischemia and infarcts following endovascular procedures should not be presumed to result from thrombus or vascular disease, even if intravascular devices appear intact or properly placed after the procedure. To help establish the incidence of ischemia caused by hydrophilic polymer device coatings, if excision of ischemic or infarcted tissue after endovascular procedures using coated devices becomes necessary, the tissue should be evaluated microscopically. Surgeons should also consider the tolerance of distal organs to infarct or ischemia when selecting coated intravascular devices.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)