Document Type : Case Report


1 Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México

2 Nariño Cardiosurgical Unit, Bogota, Colombia

3 Sanitas University Foundation, University Clinic, Bogota, Colombia

4 Vascular Surgery Clinic, Colombia Clinic, Bogota, Colombia



We report two cases involving small-caliber gunshot wounds to the chest with embolization of the bullet which complete occluding arterial circulation into the left lower extremity. A 30-years-old and 19-years-old men suffered gunshots wound to the thorax and abdomen with subsequent arterial embolisms into their left legs. Image studies revealed the left popliteal and femoral arteries occlusion by the missiles. Arteriotomies were auspiciously performed to retrieve the projectiles along with Fogarty catheters thrombectomies which conclude successful outcomes. At a 6 and 36 months’ follow-up, the patients were doing well without any vascular associated complications. Bullet embolization of the arterial or venous systems is a rare complication of penetrating gunshot injuries with diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. This complication’s suspicion should rise when there is a gunshot injury without an exit wound and with sudden pain or ischemia in an extremity. Individualized treatment should be urgently performed to avoid irreversible damage to the affected area.