Foreign body aspiration of grass inflorescences as a cause of hemoptysis

Chest. 1980 Aug;78(2):306-9. doi: 10.1378/chest.78.2.306.


Although the sparsity of reports in the literature suggest aspiration of grass inflorescence is rare, in certain areas of the southern United States, aspiration of this type of foreign body is not so uncommon. Four cases of aspiration of Hordeum pusillium, often referred to as "cheat grass" are reported: three of the four patients had hemoptysis. The highest incidence of inhaled foreign bodies usually occur in young children, but all our four patients were older children or adolescents. The clinical manifestations of grass inflorescence are of the following two types: (1) the "lodging" type in which inflorescences remain in the respiratory passages causing bronchial obstruction with pneumonitis; and (2) the "extrusive type" in which the inflorescences migrate into the periphery of the lung and through the chest wall.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bronchi*
  • Child
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnosis
  • Hemoptysis / diagnosis
  • Hemoptysis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Lung*
  • Male
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / etiology
  • Poaceae*