Use of transoesophageal echocardiography in management of penetrating cardiac injury

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A 53-year-old man who sustained an accidental cardiac nail gun injury presented to us in haemodynamically stable condition. He had an urgent plain radiograph film and contrast CT scan to determine the exact position of the nail. CT showed the nail to be in juxtacardiac position but did not give any conclusive information about breach of pericardium or myocardial wall. An intra-operative transoesophageal echocardiography was done to determine the exact position of the nail. It clearly delineated the position of the nail and guided us towards median sternotomy and removal of nail under direct vision safely.

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