A Fatal Case of Coin Battery Ingestion in an 18-Month-Old Child: Case Report and Literature Review

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2017 Mar;38(1):43-46. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000297.


The ingestion of extraneous substances is quite common in clinical practice; it usually befalls in the pediatric age, mostly between 6 months and 6 years. In most cases, complications do not emerge, and the prognosis is considered favorable. However, when a case of battery ingestion occurs, serious adverse events may develop. The ingestion of these components is a potential life-threatening event for children.In this article, we report the case of an 18-month-old child who died from hemorrhagic shock due to an aortoesophageal fistula caused by a 20 mm lithium button battery lodged in the esophagus.The child presented vomiting blood, and laboratory results revealed a severe anemization, which later led to death.The autopsy showed a coin battery located in the middle third of the esophagus as well as a transmural erosion of the esophageal wall with fistulization into the aortic wall. The histological examination revealed a severe necrosis of the esophageal and aortic walls in line with the junction between the aortic arch and the descending part.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Diseases / etiology
  • Aortic Diseases / pathology
  • Electric Power Supplies / adverse effects*
  • Esophageal Fistula / etiology
  • Esophageal Fistula / pathology
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Necrosis
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / etiology*
  • Vascular Fistula / etiology
  • Vascular Fistula / pathology