Button battery in oesophagus

Case contributed by Dr Yair Glick


Possibly aspirated or swallowed something.

Patient Data

Age: 15 months
Gender: Male

Large button battery (19 mm diameter) lodged in oesopagus at level of T2. Trachea pushed to right.


Battery after endoscopic removal, showing signs of corrosion.

Case Discussion

Although the battery was extracted from the upper oesophagus a mere 2 hours after its ingestion, it had already corroded and had begun to erode the oesophageal wall.
The toddler was admitted for observation. Augmentin and Zantac were administered. After proving asymptomatic for 2 days, he was discharged.

Button/coin/disk batteries lodged in the oesophagus must be retrieved immediately, as the mucosa can close a curcuit, resulting in an electrical burn or even perforation. Older batteries contained toxic metals, such as mercury or cadmium, for which a chelating agent was given if they leaked.

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Case information

rID: 52187
Published: 25th Mar 2017
Last edited: 28th Apr 2017
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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