Journal List > Allergy Asthma Respir Dis > v.4(2) > 1059163

Kang, Bae, Bang, Kim, Chun, Yoon, Kim, and Kim: Foreign body aspiration in 48 children: clinical manifestations and outcomes



This study aimed to have a deeper insight into the clinical spectrum of foreign body aspiration in children and to prospect the further clinical implications of early diagnosis.


We conducted a retrospective medical chart review of 48 children with foreign bodies at The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, between January 2009 and December 2013 in terms of age, sex, symptoms and signs, radiologic findings, and clinical courses. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the time from aspiration to a definite diagnosis. The 2 groups were compared for clinical courses, radiologic findings, and the length of hospitalization.


Approximately 85% of patients were 3 years of age or younger. About one-fifth of patients had no history of foreign body aspiration. Cough and coarse breathing sounds were the most common symptoms and signs. The most frequent radiologic finding was pulmonary air trapping (33.3%). The mostly commonly aspirated foreign body was peanut and detected in left main bronchus. Cough, sputum, and absence of aspiration history were more common in the delayed diagnosed group than in the early diagnosed group.


Our results suggest that the number of accidents associated with foreign body aspiration can be reduced by keeping infants with nut formula under close observation and by conducting assertive bronchoscopic examination on children with delayed recovery from respiratory infections. After removal of foreign bodies, close monitoring and expectation of possible complications can prevent patients from a long hospital stay.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Clinical features and chest radiographic finding of patient with foreign body aspiration (n=48)

Table 2

Type of foreign body in tracheobronchial tree

Table 3

Location of foreign body by site

Table 4

Comparison of clinical data between early diagnosed group and delayed diagnosed group of patients with foreign body aspiration


Values are presented as mean±standard deviation or number (%).

EDG, early diagnosed group; DDG, delayed diagnosed group; WBC, white blood cell; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; CRP, C-reactive protein.

*P<0.05, statistically significant difference.

Table 5

Misdiagnosis or delayed-diagnosis proportion of long standing foreign body in airway



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Kyung Won Bang

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