Research Article

Oesophageal foreign bodies.

Br Med J 1975; 1 doi: (Published 08 March 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;1:561
  1. A Baraka,
  2. G Bikhazi


    Impaction of foreign bodies in the oesophagus was analysed in 54 patients, 45 of whom were children. Of the 45 children 28 were aged 2-4 years. Coins were the most common foreign body in children (27 cases) while in adults a bolus of meat was most common (nine cases). In 41 children there was no predisposing factor, but an underlying mechanism was detected in 88% of the adults. The mechanisms were of three types: oesophageal (stricture), neuromuscular (myasthenia gravis), and extrinsic and mechanical (ankylosing spondylitis). In children most of the foreign bodies were impacted in the upper oesophagus at the cricopharyngeal junction, which is the narrowest part of the oesophagus, while in adults the foreign body was usually impacted at the site of the predisposing lesion or in the lower oesophagus. In all patients oesophagoscopy was performed under general anaesthesia to remove the impacted foreign body. Complications were more frequent in adults, mainly owing to the underlying condition.