Ingested foreign body - button battery

Case contributed by Leonardo Lustosa


Suspected ingestion of a battery after disassembling a toy.

Patient Data

Age: 5 years
Gender: Male

Radiographs revealed a round metallic density object with an inner lucent ring in keeping with a button battery projecting over the mediastinum, below the carina. This means the battery is located within the esophagus and not the trachea.

No signs of obstruction or perforation.

Case Discussion

In the present case, the suspicion of battery ingestion was corroborated by the radiographs.

Ingested foreign body management usually depends on its location and properties. Foreign bodies within the esophagus are usually subjected to endoscopic removal, which can be either emergent, urgent or elective.

Button batteries within the esophagus represent the most critical indication for emergent endoscopic removal.

Because of this, it is essential to identify the object correctly. While a coin is mostly harmless, a battery can injure the patient. These are very similar, but batteries usually have a slight step in profile and an inner ring when viewed across its diameter.

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