Inhaled foreign bodies: management according to early or late presentation

Sameh Ibrahim Sersar, Usama Ali Hamza, Wael AbdelAziz AbdelHameed, Reda Ahmed AbulMaaty, NourEldean Noaman Gowaeli, Sherif Abdou Moussa, Shawki Mahmoud AlMorsi, Muna Mohammed Hafez
European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 2005, 28 (3): 369-74

OBJECTIVE: This retrospective study aims to compare the early and late clinical and management aspects of tracheobronchial aspirated foreign body (AFB), to evaluate the factors associated with delayed diagnosis of foreign body aspiration (FBA) in children and to compare clinical, radiological and bronchoscopic findings in the patients with suspected FBA. A retrospective review of a 10-year experience (from 1995 to 2005). A 1512-bed Mansoura University Hospital and 184-bed Mansoura University Emergency Hospital.

METHODS: The medical records of 3300 patients who underwent bronchoscopy for suspected FBA were reviewed. The data were analysed in three groups: the patients with negative bronchoscopy for FBA (group I), early (group II) and delayed diagnosis (group III). Foreign body was removed using the rigid bronchoscope with or without using the extracting forceps (Egyptian novel technique described in the hand made illustration).

RESULTS: The majority of the patients with FBA were between 3 and 10 years of age. The penetration syndrome and decreased breath sounds were determined in a significantly higher number of the patients with FBA. The plain chest radiography revealed radio-opaque foreign bodies (FBs) in 23.56% of all patients with FBA. Pneumonia and atelectasis were significantly more common in the groups with negative bronchoscopy and with delayed diagnosis (P<0.01). The FBs were most frequently of vegetable origin, such as seeds and peanuts. A significant tissue reaction with inflammation and postbronchoscopic complications were more common in the delayed cases. The novel technique was used since then in 100 cases (4.62%) with a history of FBI (Pins and or small rounded materials). It was successful in 73 (73%) cases of non-impacted inhaled pins. Use of forceps was needed in 21 (21%) cases. Rebronchoscopy despite using both techniques was needed in six (6%) cases within 72h. Failed extraction of the inhaled FB occurred in three cases (3%) for whom bronchotomy was needed.

CONCLUSIONS: Bronchoscopy is indicated on appropriate history and on suspicion. To prevent delayed diagnosis, characteristic symptoms, signs and radiological findings of FBA should be checked in all suspected cases. As clinical and radiological findings of FBA in delayed cases may mimic other disorders, the clinician must be aware of the likelihood of FBA.

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