[Foreign body ingestion]

Radiologe. 1999 Jun;39(6):472-7. doi: 10.1007/s001170050537.
[Article in German]


Foreign body ingestion is not infrequent in infants and children. The diagnosis of radiopaque foreign body ingestion does not pose a major problem. It is crucial to take an X-ray from the pharynx to the level of the pylorus. If a foreign body that might get stuck at the ileocoecal valve is ingested, it is necessary to perform a radiograph of the whole abdomen. Foreign bodies that do not pass the cardia must be extracted endoscopically. In the case of foreign bodies with a smooth contour that have passed the pylorus, parents are advised to check the child's stool or collect it and bring it for X-raying. If after a week there is no definite evidence that the foreign body has been excreted a follow-up radiograph is carried out. If the foreign body is still in the stomach or duodenum, endoscopy is necessary. The detection of nonopaque foreign bodies can be facilitated by giving oral contrast medium, making the depiction of the foreign body as a filling defect possible. As a complication, perforation can occur, the diagnosis of which may entail the use of sonography, conventional radiography and, to a lesser extent, CT.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Deglutition
  • Esophagus / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiography, Abdominal
  • Trachea / diagnostic imaging