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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Foreign Body, Esophagus Paediapaedia: Gastrointestinal Diseases

Foreign Body, Esophagus

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Clinical Presentation:
Dysphagia, increased salivation and drooling, and refusal to feed. With prolonged impaction the patient can develop paraesophageal edema and may have inspiratory and expiratory stridor.

Etiology/Pathophysiology:
Most ingested esophageal foreign bodies pass unhindered through the GI system. Narrowed places for the foreign body to lodge include at the thoracic inlet just below the cricopharyngeus muscle (75%), at the aortic arch (20%), and at the gastroesophageal junction (5%). Ultimately if the foreign body is not removed the patient can develop esophageal ulceration, perforation, or stricture.

Pathology:
Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
If the object is radiopaque it is often easily seen on the CXR. Coins lodge in an enface orientation in the esophagus on the AP film, unlike in the trachea where they lodge in an onedge orientation on the AP film.

DDX:

References:
See References Chapter.

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