Endoscopic management of suspected esophageal foreign body in adults

W. T. Wu, C. T. Chiu*, C. J. Kuo, C. J. Lin, Y. Y. Chu, Y. K. Tsou, M. Y. Su

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

74 Scopus citations


Foreign bodies should not be allowed to remain in the esophagus beyond 24 hours after presentation. However, some patients with esophageal foreign body ingestion do not come to the hospital immediately and may delay medical intervention from the time of ingestion. The aim of this study was to investigate the outcomes of adults with suspected esophageal foreign body ingestion according to the time of ingestion and types of foreign bodies. A total of 326 adult patients (151 men and 175 women) were analyzed, and divided into two groups according to the time period: within or beyond 24 hours from ingestion to endoscopic intervention. A total of 172 patients (52.7%) were found to have ingested foreign bodies; 73.5% were removed smoothly, 10.3% were treated by push technique and 16.0% with failed retrieval received alternative treatments. A higher proportion of patients in the beyond-24 hours group suffered from odynophagia (25.9 vs. 12.9%, P < 0.05). Negative identification of esophageal foreign bodies was more frequent in the beyond-24 hours group (67 vs. 40.2%, P < 0.05), but these patients showed higher proportions of esophageal ulcers (21.1 vs. 7.2%, P < 0.05). The beyond-24 hours group also showed a significantly higher rate of foreign bodies in the lower esophagus (40.0 vs. 15.3%, P < 0.05). Patients with esophageal food bolus impaction had significant delayed endoscopic intervention, longer therapeutic endoscopic time, higher proportions of esophageal cancer, stricture and fewer complications. Endoscopic intervention within 24 hours from the time of ingestion should be considered early in adults, because delaying intervention may produce more symptomatic esophageal ulcerations with odynophagia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number3
StatePublished - 04 2011


  • 24 hours
  • Endoscopic management
  • Esophageal foreign body


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