Metallic foreign body removed by rigid esophagoscopy.
AP and lateral plain films showing a metallic foreign body in the upper esophagus. Most foreign bodies are found at the level of the cricopharyngeus muscle.
Coins are probably the most commonly ingested foreign bodies in children. This 10 month-old had two superimposed coins, a penny and a nickel, stuck in her esophageal inlet. A coin in the esophagus appears as a round metallic object on an AP projection (above, left) and a rectangular object on a lateral film (above, right).
This patient accidentally swallowed her partial plate. It got lodged in the upper esophagus. Fortunately, the hook was pointing downward, making it easy to remove. Had it been pointing up, it would have been a problem to pull it out without tearing the esophagus. In such situations, it is sometimes preferable to push the foreign body to the stomach and allow it to travel to the rectum or to surgically remove it from the GI tract if it gets stuck.
Chest X-Ray showing the metallic hook of the partial denture (right). The rest of the plate is radiolucent.