BackgroundPulmonary artery catheter insertion is a routine practice in high-risk patients undergoing cardiac surgery. However, pulmonary artery catheter insertion is associated with numerous complications that can be devastating to the patient. Incorrect placement is an overlooked complication with few case reports to date.Case presentationAn 18-year-old male patient underwent elective mitral valve replacement due to severe mitral valve regurgitation. The patient had a history of synovial sarcoma, and Hickman catheter had been inserted in the right internal jugular vein for systemic chemotherapy. We made multiple attempts to position the pulmonary artery catheter in the correct position but failed. A chest radiography revealed that the pulmonary artery catheter was bent and pointed in the cephalad direction. Removal of the pulmonary artery catheter was successful, and the patient was discharged 10 days after the surgery without complications.ConclusionsTo prevent misplacement of the PAC, clinicians should be aware of multiple risk factors in difficult PAC placement, and be prepared to utilize adjunctive methods, such as TEE and fluoroscopy.