Foreign body ingestion series (pediatric)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 19 Sep 2021

The suspected foreign body ingestion series is a set of radiographs utilized to detect and identify foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract. It involves an AP and lateral radiograph of the neck, chest, and abdomen ensuring adequate coverage of the entire gastrointestinal tract 1.

Patient positioning will depend on patient age. The PA and lateral chest and neck radiographs can be done erect whilst the abdomen radiographs are best performed supine.

  • AP and lateral projections
    • chest
    • neck
    • abdomen

Include the entire gastrointestinal tract from the nasopharynx to the pubic symphysis.

  • if one is to identify a button battery (coin-like in appearance with an inner ring) the requesting physician and/or treating team should be notified immediately
  • it is important for the image to be free from movement artifact and rotation. It may be necessary for a nurse to hold the patient in position
  • the use of lead is not recommended as this may obscure anatomy
  • younger patients may be small enough to include most of the structures in a limited amount of exposures
  • ensure imaging begins at the nasopharynx region working inferior, this way if the patient swallows between exposures it will not be missed

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: ingested coin
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  • Case 1: ingested coin
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  • Case 2: small magnets
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  • Case 3: button battery in esophagus
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  • Case 4: ingested coin
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  • Case 5: foreign body ingestion
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  • Case 5: safety pin
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