Fatal complication from an alkaline battery foreign body in the esophagus

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1977 Sep-Oct;86(5 Pt 1):611-5. doi: 10.1177/000348947708600508.


Foreign bodies and alkali burns in the trachea and esophagus are potentially fatal. Some camera batteries contain 45% potassium hydroxide electrolyte which can leak and cause liquification necrosis upon tissue contact. This report describes a case of an alkali battery foreign body in the esophagus with a subsequent fatal course which was masked by steroid therapy. A discussion of corrosive burns of the esophagus, their etiology, clinical course and pathology is presented.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Alkalies / adverse effects*
  • Burns, Chemical / complications*
  • Burns, Chemical / pathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Esophageal Perforation / chemically induced*
  • Esophageal Perforation / pathology
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Necrosis
  • Radiography
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula / pathology


  • Alkalies