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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY

A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery


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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2004 June;45(3):279-80

language: English

Airport and superficial femoral artery obstruction due to a wandering coronary stent. The possibility of airport detection of modern implant metals

Teijink J. A. W. 1, J. van Herwaarden A. 1, van den Berg J. C. 2, Overtoom T. C. 2, Moll F. L. 1

1 Department of Vascular Surgery St. Antoniusziekenhuis, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
2 Department of Radiology, St. Antoniusziekenhuis, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands


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In the treatment of coronary artery disease, peripheral loss of a coronary stent is an unusual complication. We present the case of a patient who suggested that his right leg claudication was caused by a slipped coronary stent 2 years previously. The patient was convinced about this unusual finding based on an airport security check. Examination proved him to be right. However, the ability to detect an object using eddy currents is dependent on the object’s permeability and its conductivity. Ferrous (iron) content is not the critical factor. Modern implant materials and processing techniques result in implants that are difficult to magnetize i.e. their permeability is very low. In addition their conductivity is very low. This enables modern implants to escape detection at airports. For this reason the event at the airport, as described by our patient, is considered coincidental.

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