Occult bronchial foreign body aspiration in adults: Analysis of four cases

Yilmaz A., Akkaya E., Damadoglu E., Gungor S.

Respirology, vol.9, no.4, pp.561-563, 2004 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2004.00621.x
  • Journal Name: Respirology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.561-563
  • Keywords: Adults, Bronchial, Foreign body aspiration, Occult
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Occult tracheobronchial foreign body aspirations are infrequently seen in adults because there is usually a high index of suspicion. Occult foreign bodies can remain undetected for months to years and often are misdiagnosed. The aim of this paper is to report the cases of four adult patients with occult bronchial foreign body aspiration. None of the patients had a previous history of aspiration. One patient had been misdiagnosed as having asthma. One was thought to have tuberculosis, while unresolved pneumonia was present in another. A CXR showed the presence of a foreign body in only one patient because it was metallic. The foreign bodies included a stone, a tooth fragment, a bone fragment, and a needle. The foreign bodies were removed using a rigid bronchoscope in two patients and via a surgical procedure in the other two. In conclusion, tracheobronchial foreign body aspiration should always be taken into consideration in the differential diagnosis of radiographic lesions or chronic respiratory symptoms that are poorly explained, even in the absence of a previous history of aspiration.