Esophageal electrochemical burn by button-type alkaline batteries in dogs

Vet Hum Toxicol. 1987 Jun;29(3):226-30.


In this study, electrochemical burns of the esophagus from button-type alkaline batteries were demonstrated. A charged mercurial button-type battery was fixed in the esophagus of 11 dogs. After 2, 4, 8, 24, 48, or 72 hr, batteries and esophagus were removed and examined micro and macroscopically. In 3 dogs, a charged battery with double capsule and dummy battery were placed for 24 hr. At 8 hr after placement, the esophagus mucosa showed abrasion. The charged batteries produced superficial abrasion or necrosis under the muscular layer of the esophagus without any evidence of leakage of the battery content during 48 hr. Dummy batteries did not produce any pathological findings. This indicates that the corrosion was caused by flow of a direct 1.5 v current and not by outflow of the content or compression.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Burns, Chemical / pathology*
  • Burns, Electric / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Esophagus / injuries*
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Hydroxides / toxicity*
  • Potassium / toxicity*
  • Potassium Compounds*


  • Hydroxides
  • Potassium Compounds
  • Potassium
  • potassium hydroxide