Airway foreign body in adult

Case contributed by Luu Hanh


Cough, chest pain, shortness of breath after the aspirated seed of fruit (Manilkara zapota).

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

The chest x-ray shows a consolidation of the middle lobe.

Middle lobe collapse with bronchiectasis suggestive right middle lobe syndrome.

An oval structure is seen located within the left main bronchus, about 1,5 cm below the carina. There was no left lung collapse.

The 3D image shows the abrupt truncation of a left main bronchus (bronchial cut-off sign)




Bronchoscopy was done and found a seed of fruit Manilkara zapota [1] in the left main bronchus.

Annotated image

Red arrows refer to the left main bronchus foreign body seen about 1,5 cm below the carina.

Case Discussion

CT and bronchoscopy demonstrated the left main bronchus foreign body. Fortunately, there was no left lung collapse. The right main bronchus is the most common site of obstruction due to the anatomy of the bronchial tree favoring the right side (larger diameter, more vertical orientation).


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