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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 67-70

Missed distal tracheal foreign body in consecutive bronchoscopies in a 6-year-old boy

1 Department of Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrcis and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
4 Department of Radiology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Oghenevware Joel Eyekpegha
Department of Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife 220006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1117-6806.199957

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It is unusual but not uncommon for foreign bodies to be missed at bronchoscopy. This case report highlights the importance of the clinical history in the diagnosis of aspirated foreign bodies and the usefulness of chest imaging modalities. A 6-year-old boy presented with recurrent breathlessness and cough of 2 months. He was said to have aspirated the base cap of a pen at about the time symptoms started. He had two sessions of rigid bronchoscopy and a session of flexible bronchoscopy at three different hospitals. He had an initial rigid bronchoscopy which failed to show the foreign body (FB). A chest computerized tomographic scan demonstrated the FB, which was retrieved at combined flexible/rigid bronchoscopy. Although rigid bronchoscopy is the gold standard for managing airway foreign bodies, there remains a false negative rate for this procedure and where necessary, appropriate imaging may compliment rigid bronchoscopy, especially where there is some confusion.

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