Barium swallow aspiration

Case contributed by M Sanal Kumar


History of brain stem stroke.

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

Barium swallow


Barium swallow study done to rule out aspiration and assess swallowing.

Lateral image shows pooling of contrast in the pharynx with aspiration of the barium contrast into the airway.



Chest AP film confirms aspiration which shows contrast inside the bronchial tree.

Study was immediately suspended.

Case Discussion

Barium aspiration is a rare complication of gastrointestinal studies. The severity depends on the amount of contrast aspirated in the respiratory tract.

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