Nasal foreign body

Case contributed by Dr Ghufran Aref Saeed


Witnessed insertion of foreign body in the left nostril with subsequent greenish nasal discharge.

Patient Data

Age: 6 years
Gender: Female

Rounded radiopaque shadow of  foreign body (disk battery) measuring 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 cm in the posterior aspect of the left nasal cavity.

Opacification of the corresponding nasal cavity.

Visualized paranasal sinuses are clear.

Case Discussion

Complications of foreign body insertion depend on location and the type of foreign body. They might include bleeding due to mucosal injury, remote migration, perforation, abscess formation, and sepsis.

In this case, a disc or button battery, although small in size with smooth margins, can be fatal. Heavy metal poisoning, sepsis and perforation can occur as such batteries contain alkaline corrosive agents.

An attempt to remove the battery in the Emergency department failed. It was then endoscopically removed under general anesthesia by an ENT physician. Mucosal and nasal turbinates corrosive effects were noticed during the attempt.

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Case information

rID: 51582
Published: 22nd Mar 2017
Last edited: 23rd Mar 2017
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Excluded from licensing

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