Foreign bodies in the aerodigestive tract-a clinical study of cases in the coastal belt of South India

Panduranga Kamath, Kiran M. Bhojwani, Thomas Prasannaraj, K. Abhijith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the cases of foreign body in the aerodigestive tract and to elucidate the characteristic problems in India. Design and setting: Three hundred patients presenting with a history of either aspirating or swallowing a foreign body were analyzed in a tertiary care center. Data were collected by retrospective chart review and statistically analyzed. Results: Of the 300 patients studied, 90% (270 cases) did have a retained foreign body, with 233 (86.2%) cases found in the pharyngoesophagus and 37 (13.7%) cases in the tracheobronchial tree. With foreign bodies in the tracheobronchial passages, the most common sign and symptom were rhonchi (50%) and dyspnea (67%), respectively; in pharyngoesophagus, the most common symptom and sign were dysphagia (64%) and odynophagia (45%), respectively. The most common foreign body found was fish bone in 39% (106 cases) and the most common site of lodgment was the cervical esophagus 50.5% (136 cases). Rigid endoscopy with forceps removal under general anesthesia was the main treatment modality. Thirty-three (12.2%) cases had complications secondary to retained foreign body. Conclusion: Foreign bodies in the aerodigestive tract continue to be a common problem affecting adults and children alike. Rigid endoscopies with forceps removal under general anesthesia are the preferred management modality. From their experience, the authors recommend that no foreign body in the upper aerodigestive tract should be left alone with the hope that it will come out spontaneously. Delay in diagnosis and management can lead to life-threatening complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-377
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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