Iatrogenic Thoracic Duct Injury via the Right Internal Jugular Vein: A Case Report

Hiroki Kono, Daiki Shako, Yoshimi Sato, Tatsuya Kawasaki


Thoracic duct injury is a rare mechanical complication during the insertion of a central venous cannula via the left internal jugular vein. We report a case of thoracic duct injury during the insertion of a temporary pacing lead via the right internal jugular vein. A 92-year-old woman presented with third-degree atrioventricular block. Temporary ventricular pacing was attempted via the right internal jugular venous route, but a guidewire and sheath migrated into the vessel structure that was not directly connected to the right ventricle. Considering the characteristics of the fluid obtained from the vessel and the anatomical components of the mediastinum, a diagnosis of thoracic duct injury was made. The system inserted incorrectly was removed and a pacing lead was placed in the right ventricular apex through the right internal jugular vein. Her clinical course was uneventful without developing pneumothorax, hemothorax, or chylothorax, and 5 days later, a permanent pacemaker was implanted via the left subclavian venous route.

J Med Cases. 2022;13(6):253-256
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jmc3811


Central venous cannulation; Complication; Right internal jugular vein; Thoracic duct

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