A tale of three aspirations: Foreign bodies in the airway

B. Pritt, M. Harmon, M. Schwartz, K. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Tracheobronchial foreign body aspiration is a serious medical problem, with clinical manifestations ranging from acute asphyxiation to insidious lung damage, as demonstrated by the three presented cases. Patient 1 aspirated during dinner, emergency bronchoscopy retrieved pieces of food, and she fully recovered the following day. Patient 2 presented with recurrent pneumonia and a right lower lobe lung abscess. After right ower lobectomy, pathology revealed a foreign object in the right main stem bronchus, a peanut aspirated one year earlier. Patient 3 became unresponsive severa days after spinal surgery. The differential diagnosis included myocardial infarction, stroke, and foreign body aspiration. The patient died and necropsy revealed a foreign body in the right main stem bronchus (cooked meat). Thus, foreign body aspiration is not always suspected clinically, and the pathologist may play an important role in making the diagnosis. Histological identification of the aspirated material may be necessary for definitive diagnosis. Therefore, sections of commonly aspirated foods are presented, together with a 10 year history of aspirated objects received by this institution's surgical pathology department.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-794
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of clinical pathology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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