Pictorial Review

Clinical presentation, diagnosis and management of aerodigestive tract foreign bodies in the adult population: Part 1

Rishi P. Mathew, Sreekutty Sarasamma, Merin Jose, Ajith Toms, Vinayak Jayaram, Vimal Patel, Gavin Low
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 25, No 1 | a2022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v25i1.2022 | © 2021 Rishi P. Mathew, Sreekutty Sarasamma, Merin Jose, Ajith Toms, Vinayak Jayaram, Vimal Patel, Gavin Low | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 October 2020 | Published: 23 March 2021

About the author(s)

Rishi P. Mathew, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Radiology, Rajagiri Hospital, Aluva, India
Sreekutty Sarasamma, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Radiology, Rajagiri Hospital, Aluva, India
Merin Jose, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Radiology, Rajagiri Hospital, Aluva, India
Ajith Toms, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Radiology, Rajagiri Hospital, Aluva, India
Vinayak Jayaram, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Radiology, Rajagiri Hospital, Aluva, India
Vimal Patel, Department of Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Canada
Gavin Low, Department of Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Canada


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Abstract

In the adult population, foreign bodies may be accidentally or intentionally ingested or even inserted into a body cavity. The majority of accidentally ingested foreign bodies pass through the alimentary tract without any complications and rarely require intervention. Accidentally ingested foreign bodies are usually fish bones, bones of other animals, and dentures. Oesophageal food impaction is the commonest cause of oesophageal foreign bodies in the Western hemisphere. Intentionally ingested foreign bodies may be organic or inorganic, and often require intervention; these patients have either underlying psychological or mental disease or are involved in illegal activities such as body packing, which involves trafficking narcotics. Imaging plays a crucial role in not only identifying the type, number and location of the foreign body but also in excluding any complications. In this comprehensive pictorial review, we provide an overview of the spectrum of foreign bodies ingested in adults, emphasising the role of various imaging modalities, their limitations and common foreign body mimickers on imaging.


Keywords

foreign body; fish bone; dentures; food bolus; bezoar; body packing

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