First Report of a Life-Threatening Cardiac Complication After Percutaneous Balloon Kyphoplasty

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Study Design.

We report the first case of life-threatening cardiac tamponade after percutaneous balloon kyphoplasty and its treatment with pericardiac drainage and percutaneous retrieval of cement embolus.


To sensitize clinicians to the occurrence of perforation on the right side of the heart, with intracavity cement leakage as a potential complication after balloon kyphoplasty.

Summary of Background Data.

Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimal invasive technique for symptomatic vertebral fractures. Cement leakage after kyphoplasty is a rare complication compared with vertebroplasty.


A 68-year-old female patient underwent balloon kyphoplasty after a recent third and fourth lumbar verlebral fracture was diagnosed.


The day after balloon kyphoplasty, the patient complained of dyspnea and chest pain. Her hemodynamic status rapidly deteriorated. Acute occlusion of coronary vessels was excluded by coronary angiography. Pericardial tamponade was documented by echocardiography, and pericardial effusion was urgently drained. Computed tomographic scan revealed the presence of cement embolus inside the right ventricle due to right ventricle perforation during the kyphoplasty procedure. The cement embolus was successfully retrieved percutaneously with a snare catheter.


Balloon kyphoplasty is a minimal invasive technique with low rate of complications. In case of postprocedural chest symptoms, it is mandatory to exclude right ventricle perforation, cardiac tamponade, and embolism into pulmonary vessels because of cement embolism.


Level of Evidence: 5

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