25-Year Review of the Abundance and Diversity of Radiopaque Airway Foreign Bodies in Children

Nader Saki, Soheila Nikakhlagh, Seyed Mohammad Heshmati
Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery 2015, 67 (3): 261-6
This study was conducted to review the abundance and diversity of radiopaque foreign bodies over a 25-year period. Overall records of 1,114 patients who underwent rigid bronchoscopy due to foreign body aspiration in the tertiary centres, Imam Khomeini and Apadana; over a 25-year period (1989-2014) were reviewed. History, clinical findings, plain radiography and bronchoscopic findings, foreign body (FB) aspiration (whether radiolucent or radiopaque), time from onset of symptoms until hospitalization, and delay time were all considered. The male/female ratio was 1.53. Most patients were aged 1-3 years (53.94 %). The most common location of foreign bodies was the right main bronchus (54.57 %). The most common type of radiopaque foreign body was meat, chicken and big fish bones (4.84 %) followed by metal objects (4.39 %). Coughing (70.82 %) and cyanosis (22.80 %) were the most common symptoms. The most common radiological findings were emphysema (32.31 %). Given that the radiological findings are highly specific as regards the detection of radiopaque FB, radiographic examination prior to bronchoscopy for FB localization and shortening the time of bronchoscopy in patients with a history of radiopaque FB aspiration can be helpful. Due to the high morbidity and mortality caused by prolong and repeated bronchoscopy, the use of newer techniques and equipment in shortening extraction time of the foreign bodies should be considered in future researches.

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