Ingested foreign body mimic: hair tie
3 days of fever, cough and tachycardia. A chest x-ray was ordered to rule out pneumonic process vs foreign body aspiration.
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Density in the shape of a coil seen projecting over the superior mediastinum/lower neck on the AP view, and overlying the upper back on the lateral view is consistent with a hair tie.
2 case question available
Hair elastics/ties/bands can pose a clinical challenge when discerning whether or not they have been ingested. The key on this x-ray is that the hair tie extends out from the borders of the mediastinum on the frontal radiograph, with its position confirmed on the lateral exam. To truly rule out a radiolucent foreign body, both lateral decubitus views would be useful in identifying air trapping within the affected lung.
Differential diagnosis includes:
2. foreign body ingestion vs aspiration
This case was submitted with supervision and input from:
Soni C. Chawla, M.D.
Department of Radiological Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Olive View - UCLA Medical Center
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