Needle embolism in intravenous drug abuse.
Although intravenous drug users report the breaking of a needle as a relatively common occurrence, central embolism of needle fragments occurs infrequently in the literature. Central needle embolism also poses a conundrum for the radiologist, as the needle may be easily overlooked when the clinical history is nonspecific. We present two cases of needle embolism to the lung, one complicated by inflammatory mass and progressive pleuritic chest pain requiring wedge resection. We hope that our experiences may increase radiologists' and emergency physicians' familiarity with this unusual cause of chest pain. The radiological findings are subtle and may be easily overlooked, particularly without thorough clinical history.