Upper esophageal foreign body

Case contributed by Dr Jan Frank Gerstenmaier


The patient presented to the ED with a history of having swallowed a plastic tab which he now feels in the throat.

Patient Data

Age: 58
Gender: Male

ED radiographs

X-rays soft tissue neck:

Frontal and lateral projections.

3.1 cm long radiopacity projects over the lower cervical esophagus ( C7/T1 ) on the lateral projection, consistent with an ingested foreign body. This is not well appreciated in the frontal projection.



A foreign body is visible


Retrieved foreign body

Foreign body. Retrieved before the expiry date.

Case Discussion

The foreign body is only visible on lateral radiograph, where it has an intermediate density (not clearly metal). An explanation for the non-visibility on frontal radiograph is its position en face.

Case courtesy of Dr Siddharth Sood (Consultant Hepatologist & Gastroenterologist, Royal Melbourne Hospital).

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Case information

rID: 36966
Published: 20th May 2015
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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