Published: 2021-06-23

Prevalence and management of foreign bodies in aerodigestive tract in tertiary care centre

Dimple Sahni, Rajwant Kaur, Gagandeep Kaur, Sangeeta Aggarwal, Sanjeev Bhagat


Background: Foreign bodies in aerodigestive tract is common, frequent, and sometime life threatening emergency for otorhinolaryngologists mainly in the paediatric group. The aims of the present study was to find the incidence of foreign bodies, in relation to demographic factors, type and sites of foreign bodies its clinical presentations and its management.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted on 100 cases coming to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) emergency and outpatient department (OPD). After thorough history, clinical examination, routine blood and urine investigations and urine done. Radiological examination was done to visualize the radio-opaque foreign body, and if the foreign body was not radio-opaque then computed tomography (CT) scan was done.  

Results: Incidence of foreign was 67% in male than 33% in female. Mostly foreign bodies were in nose (49%), followed by oesophageal (31%), abdominal (14%), and bronchus (6%) respectively. 33% were totally asymptomatic, 25% with mucupurulent discharge from nose, dysphagia (16%), nasal obstruction (15%), and odynophagia (11%) respectively. Most of the foreign bodies were inorganic in nature, coin (42%), pearls (8.16%), and battery (6.45%). Among organic foreign bodies peanut was most common (33.33%), grains (10%). All foreign bodies were removed successfully with minimal morbidity and zero mortality.

Conclusions: Present study suggested incidence was very common among male children, in rural background, with common asymptomatic presentation. With high index of suspicion, and proper and timely intervention all 100 cases were managed successfully. But still educating the parents about keeping such things away from kids prevent these incident.


Foreign bodies, Aerodigestive tract, Bronchoscopy, Cricopharynx

Full Text:



Andrews ML. Manual of voice treatment: Pediatrics through geriatrics (3rd ed.). Thomson Delmar Learning. 2006.

Coyle JL. Ventilation, respiration, pulmonary diseases, and swallowing. Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia). 2010;19(4):91-7.

Jadcherla SR. Pathophysiology of Aerodigestive Pulmonary Disorders in the Neonate. Clin Perinatol. 2012;39(3):639-54.

Kim IG, Brummitt WM, Humphrey A. Foreign bodies in the airway: a review of 202 cases. Laryngoscope. 1973;83:347-54.

Radhakrishnan KR, Kumar SA, Anandan H. Clinical Study of Foreign Body in Aerodigestive Tract. Int J Sci Study. 2017;5(5):108-11.

Mahafza TM. Extracting coins from the upper end of the oesophagus using a Magill forceps technique. Int J Paediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2002;62(1):37-9.

Jackson C, Jackson, CL. Diseases. Diseases of the Air and Food Passages of Foreign Body Origin. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Saunders. 1936;1-635.

Cramer N, Jabbour N, Tavarez MM. Foreign Body Aspiration. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): Stat Pearls Publishing. 2020.

Schaefer TJ, Trocinski D. Esophagial Foreign Body. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): Stat Pearls Publishing. 2020.

Hsu WC, Sheen TS, Lin CD, Tan CT, Yeh TH, Lee SY. Clinical experiences of removing foreign bodies in the airway and oesophagus with a rigid endoscope: a series of 3217 cases from 1970 to 1996. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;122:450-4.

Higo R, Matsumoto Y, Ichimura K, Kaga K. Foreign bodies in the aerodigestive tract in pediatric patients. Auris Nasus Larynx. 2003;30:397-401.

Hariga I, Khamassi K, Zribi S. Management of foreign bodies in the aerodigestive tract. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;66(1):220-4.

Bittencourt PF, Camargos PA, Scheinmann P, de Blic J. Foreign body aspiration: clinical, radiological findings and factors associated with its late removal. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2006;70(5):879-84.

Roda J, Nobre S, Pires J, Estêvão MH, Félix M. Foreign bodies in the airway: a quarter of a century's experience. Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia. 2008;14(6):787-802.

Patil RT, Prakash A. Foreign bodies in aero-digestive tract in children: spectrum of presentation and management. Int Surg J. 2017;4:1889-95.

Wright CC, Closson FT. Updates in pediatric gastrointestinal foreign bodies. Pediatr Clin N Am. 2013;60:1221-39.

Shetty H, Gangadhar KS. Foreign bodies in the aerodigestive tract and its management- study of 44 cases. IAIM. 2015;2(9):47-50.

Gupta R, Poorey VK. Incidence of foreign bodies in aerodigestive tract in vindhya region: our experience. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;66(2):135-41.

Mantor PC, Tuggle DW, Tunell WP. An appropriate negative bronchoscopy rate in suspected foreign body aspiration. Am J Surg. 1989;158-622.

Freeman EM, Anthony B. A five-year analysis of airway foreign body management: toward a better understanding of negative bronchoscopies. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2016;125(7):591-5.