Swallowed toothbrush

Case contributed by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking


Patient claims to have swallowed a foreign body, with a history of doing so previously.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Female

Numerous small linear dense foreign bodies are projected in the mid to lower thoracic esophagus, oriented in an organized fashion. The lungs are clear. No pleural effusion or pneumothorax. No free subdiaphragmatic gas.

Case Discussion

The patient admitted to swallowing a toothbrush, and not for the first time. It passed without complication.

Interestingly, the tips of the bristles are radiodense, but not the plastic handle.

A toothbrush is commonly used by bulimics for evoking the gag reflex. The patient presents to the clinic or hospital after having swallowed the toothbrush unintentionally.

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Case information

rID: 53832
Published: 9th Jun 2017
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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