[Laryngeal edema and vocal cord paralysis due to lithium battery ingestion; a case report]

Masui. 2007 Aug;56(8):956-8.
[Article in Japanese]


We report a case of an 8-year-old boy with laryngeal edema and vocal cord paralysis due to lithium battery ingestion. He had ingested a lithium battery of a television remote controller, and was admitted to our hospital. He was suffering from wheezing and retractive respiration with crying. The foreign body was removed under general anesthesia about two hours after the ingestion. It was a 3 volt lithium battery of 20 millimeters in diameter. Endoscopy showed chemical burn of the postcricoid area and severe edema of the laryngeal arytenoids. Twelve days later we confirmed healing of edema and extubated the tracheal tube, but endoscopy showed bilateral vocal fold paralysis. He had no difficulty in breathing and eating but the vocal cord paralysis remained. Lithium batteries ingestion may cause severe airway injury in a short period because of their large size and high voltage. Immediate removal and careful management are required.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, General
  • Child
  • Electric Power Supplies / adverse effects*
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Edema / etiology*
  • Laryngeal Edema / pathology
  • Lithium / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / etiology*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / pathology


  • Lithium