Traheobronchial foreign bodies: evaluation and retrieval by rigid bronchoscopy

Kunzes Dolma, Anchal Gupta, Apurab Gupta, Padam Singh Jamwal


Background: The foreign body aspiration is one of the commonest ENT emergencies. Delay in diagnosis and treatment may lead to significant morbidity and mortality.

Methods: The current study was conducted at Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, SMGS Hospital, Government Medical College, Jammu, from November 2017 to October 2018. All symptomatic patients diagnosed with foreign body aspiration on the basis of history, clinical examination and radiological evaluation and who underwent rigid bronchoscopic retrieval were included in the study. Fifty patients were studied.  

Results: The majority of patients 33 (66%) were between 1 and 3 years of age.12 (24%) patients were over 3 years of age with oldest of 57 years old age with male: female ratio of 2.1:1. The clinical features of these patients were mainly cough, respiratory distress, wheeze, fever, stridor, choking and cyanosis. On bronchoscopy, foreign body was identified in 46 (92%) patients and no foreign body was seen in 4 (8%) patients with suspected foreign body aspiration. The most common type of foreign body was organic (73.91%), with peanuts (47.82%) being the commonest. The most common site was left bronchus seen in 22 (47.83%) patients followed by right bronchus seen in 18 (39.13%) and trachea seen in 6 (13.04%) patients. Overall mortality and morbidity rates were 2.17% and 4.35% respectively.

Conclusions: History and clinical examination should be more relied upon as diagnostic tool than radiological findings in diagnosing foreign body inhalation. Rigid bronchoscopic removal of foreign body is the standard procedure for removing tracheobronchial foreign bodies. 


Bronchus, Foreign body, Inhalation

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