Sudden and unexpected death--a late effect of occult intraesophageal foreign body

Pediatr Pathol. 1990;10(5):837-41. doi: 10.3109/15513819009064718.


Acute upper airway obstruction in a 4-month-old male infant who presented as sudden infant death syndrome is described. At autopsy external tracheal compression and tracheobronchitis with plugging of the trachea and bronchi by an abundant mucopurulent exudate were found. The source of the inflammation was the adjacent esophagus where previous impaction of a coin had caused pressure necrosis with mucosal erosion and transmural granulation tissue formation. This case is reported to demonstrate that foreign bodies that remain in the esophagus, having by-passed the larynx, may still result in upper airway obstruction and death in early infancy by this unusual mechanism.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Airway Obstruction / etiology
  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Esophageal Diseases / complications*
  • Esophageal Diseases / pathology
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Foreign Bodies / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Trachea / pathology