Objectives: To study the pattern of esophageal foreign bodies (FB) in Jordan and to compare it with other countries.
Methods: This is a retrospective study conducted on all patients (527) who were admitted with esophageal FB during a period of 9 years from January 1992 to January 2000. Two major referral hospitals were involved: the Princess Basma and Al-Bashir hospitals. A data sheet was constructed in which we included: name, age, gender, presenting symptoms, type and site of FB, technique of removal, and complications if present.
Results: Of the 527 patients 53% were male and 47% were female.77% were children under the age of 10 years. In children coins were by far the most common FB to be found in the esophagus (68%), while bones were the principal FB to be found in adults (8%). In 89%, the FB was found at the level of cricopharyngeal muscle. Drooling of saliva (72%), dysphagia (71%), and vomiting (24%) were the most commonly presenting symptoms. Both rigid esophagoscopy and Magill forceps techniques were used to remove the FB from the esophagus. The complication rate was 2% which included: esophageal perforation and mediastinitis, esophageal stenosis and esophageal erosions.
Conclusion: The pattern of esophageal FB in Jordan is not different from other countries.