Aspirated barium swallow

Case contributed by Dr Derek Smith


Chest x-ray in septic screen for head and neck oncology patient. Bibasal crackles on auscultation.

Patient Data

Age: 85
Gender: Male

No evidence of consolidation.

Note scattered radio-opaque markings bibasally.

Nasogastric tube in appropriate position for feeding.


Previous CT study

This is an older CT scan which also demonstrates the distribution of the barium - on bone window the aspirate is hyperdense in keeping with metal.

Case Discussion

Although there is no convincing evidence of infection on this plain film there are some interesting findings.

It shows the appropriate path for nasogastric feeding tubes and also evidence of previous tests related to a failed swallow with the aspirated barium.

Coupling the clinical history and previous imaging is especially useful in cases like this.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 34411
Published: 19th Feb 2015
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included