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Video-Assisted Thorascopic Removal of Migratory Acupuncture Needle Causing Pneumothorax*

Wesley B. von Riedenauer, MD; Mark K. Baker, PA-C; Robert J. Brewer, MD
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*From the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI.

Correspondence to: Wesley B. von Riedenauer, MD, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, 2799 West Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202; e-mail: vonriedenauer@yahoo.com



Chest. 2007;131(3):899-901. doi:10.1378/chest.06-1443
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We report the case of a 25-year-old African-American man presenting to the Henry Ford Hospital emergency department with acute dyspnea secondary to a pneumothorax resulting from a migratory acupuncture needle. The patient received acupuncture treatment approximately 5 years prior to this presentation for treatment of posttraumatic chronic right shoulder pain. Chest radiography revealed retained needles in his right shoulder girdle and a needle overlying the thoracic cage with an attendant pneumothorax. Catheter aspiration for simple pneumothorax provided immediate symptomatic relief. Video-assisted thoracoscopy was then used to remove the migratory acupuncture needle from the chest wall. The patient recovered without complication and was discharged to home.

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