Foreign body aspiration: clinical utility of flexible bronchoscopy

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Dikensoy Ö., Usalan C., Filiz A.

POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL JOURNAL, vol.78, no.921, pp.399-403, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 78 Issue: 921
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1136/pmj.78.921.399
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.399-403
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: No


Foreign body aspiration is a worldwide health problem which often results in life threatening complications. More than two thirds of foreign body aspirations occur among children younger than 3 years. Organic materials such as nuts, seeds, and bones are most commonly aspirated. There is a wide range of clinical presentation, and often there is not a reliable witness to supply the clinical history, especially in children. Maintaining a high index of suspicion is therefore necessary for the diagnosis. None of the imaging methods employed in such cases are diagnostic, and bronchoscopy is frequently necessary for the diagnosis as well as the treatment. In adults, removal of the foreign body can be attempted during diagnostic examination with a fibreoptic bronchoscope under local anaesthesia, which may help to avoid any further invasive procedures with more complications. When diagnosis is delayed, complications of a retained foreign body such as unresolving pneumonia, lung abscess, recurrent haemoptysis, and bronchiectasis may necessitate a surgical resection. However, some of the late complications may resolve completely after the retrieval of the foreign body, therefore, a preoperative flexible bronchoscopy should always be considered in suitable cases.