Journal List > Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr > v.10(2) > 1110186

Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007 Sep;10(2):157-165. Korean.
Published online Sep 30, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Spontaneous Passage of Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies in Children
Ji Hyuk Lee, Suk Hyun Nam, Jee Hyun Lee, Hae Jeong Lee and Yon Ho Choe
Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Ingested foreign bodies are removed by endoscopy, surgery or spontaneous passage, however, the decision of therapeutic modality chosen depends on the type, size, shape and location of the ingested foreign bodies. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the rate and characteristics of foreign bodies that were passed spontaneously out of the intestine.


One hundred and sixty patients who visited Samsung Medical Center for treatment of gastrointestinal foreign bodies between January 2001 to July 2007 were enrolled in this study. Related data was colleted by reviewing the medical records of patients with proven foreign bodies retrospectively, as well as by conducting phone interviews with the parents of the patients. All cases were classified based on the nature and location of the ingested foreign body, as well as whether it was treated by spontaneous passage.


Of the 160 cases involving the passage of foreign bodies in children were included in this study (95 boys and 65 girls), endoscopic removals, operative removals or spontaneous passages were conducted in 80, 3 and 77 patients, respectively. The spontaneous passage rates for each type of object were as follows; coins (36.5%), bead and baduk stones (83.3%), long and sharp materials (52.6%), magnets (69.2%) and disc batteries (50.0%). In cases involving round-shaped foreign bodies, such as coins, the diverse spontaneous passage rates were more diverse. When foreign bodies were stuck below esophagus, similar sized coins and baduk stones had spontaneous passage rates greater than 80% regardless of age.


It is better for clinicians to wait for spontaneous passage to occur in cases involving coins or round-shaped foreign bodies that are located at or below the stomach.

Keywords: Ingested foreign bodies; Spontaneous passage; Endoscopic removal; Children