• foreign bodies;
  • pericarditis;
  • needles


Central needle embolization is a rare complication of intravenous drug abuse which has only been reported on a handful of occasions. Previously reported cases of needle embolization to the heart have been managed conservatively (observation alone) or by surgical intervention. We report a case of purulent pericarditis without evidence of valvular vegetations resulting from an embolized, infected needle fragment. In the present case, the needle was successfully removed from the right ventricle percutaneously. This case illustrates the unique finding of purulent pericarditis due to a persistent foreign body in the right ventricle, and the nontraditional intervention performed for needle fragment removal which resulted in full clinical recovery of the patient. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.