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Radiological Case of the Month

Eliezer Nussbaum, MD; David G. Fleming, PhD, MD; Robert E. Wood, PhD, MD; Thomas F. Boat, MD; Carl F. Doershuk, MD; Lionel W. Young, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(11):1081-1083. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140490081021.
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An 11-month-old male infant was referred with a six-month history of stridor and dysphagia. He had been treated for six months for "colds and allergies." No history that suggested foreign-body aspiration had been obtained.

The major physical examination findings were inspiratory and expiratory stridor and hyperextension of the neck. Posteroanterior and lateral chest roentgenograms showed a barely visible paratracheal abnormality and barium esophagram showed a nonobstructive upper esophageal filling defect. In retrospect, the paratracheal finding was present on roentgenograms taken six weeks earlier (Figs 1 and 2).

Denouement and Discussion 

Stridor due to Radiotransparent Esophageal Foreign Body  Esophageal endoscopy was performed (Fig 3). Attempts to remove the foreign body with flexible and rigid endoscopes were unsuccessful. The cervical portion of the esophagus was operatively explored and a metallic pull-tab (pop-top) from an aluminum beverage container was found impacted in the esophagus (Fig 4). Removal was successful and the patient recovered


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