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United European Gastroenterol J. 2018 Aug;6(7):974-980. doi: 10.1177/2050640618765804. Epub 2018 Mar 14.

Foreign body ingestion and food impaction in adults: better to scope than to wait.

United European gastroenterology journal

Diogo Libânio, Mónica Garrido, Filipa Jácome, Mário Dinis-Ribeiro, Isabel Pedroto, Ricardo Marcos-Pinto


  1. Gastroenterology Department, Instituto Português de Oncologia do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
  2. CINTESIS - Center for Health Technology and Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
  3. Gastroenterology Department, Centro Hospitalar do Porto, Porto, Portugal.

PMID: 30228884 PMCID: PMC6137585 DOI: 10.1177/2050640618765804


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To assess clinical outcomes after foreign body ingestion and food impaction; to identify predictors of foreign body presence at the time of endoscopy.

METHODS: A prospective study including consecutive adult patients with foreign body ingestion or suspected food impaction between May 2014 and August 2016.

RESULTS: In total, 521 patients were included, 320 with foreign body ingestion and 201 with suspected food impaction. Food impaction patients were significantly older and more frequently had a history of oesophageal disease. The foreign body was encountered in the upper digestive tract in 43% of the patients with foreign body ingestion, and food impaction was confirmed in 87%. Older age (odds ratio (OR)

CONCLUSION: Foreign bodies are encountered at endoscopy in almost half of the cases. Older age and earlier presentation are independent predictors of its presence. Given the high proportion of patients with foreign body at endoscopy and the low risk of complications, endoscopic evaluation is probably justified in the majority of cases.

Keywords: Endoscopy; emergency; food impaction; foreign body ingestion; therapeutic endoscopy


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