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Jornal de Pneumologia

Print version ISSN 0102-3586On-line version ISSN 1678-4642


CASSOL, Vitor et al. Foreign body in children’s airways. J. Pneumologia [online]. 2003, vol.29, n.3, pp.139-144. ISSN 0102-3586.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical characteristics and the results of bronchoscopic treatment of children due to foreign body aspiration in a university hospital. METHOD: Time series of children who underwent bronchoscopies for foreign bodies aspirated into the airway between March 1993 and July 2002. Each patient was analyzed for age, sex, initial clinical diagnosis, nature and location of the foreign body, duration of symptoms between aspiration and bronchoscopy, radiological findings, results of bronchoscopic removal, complications of bronchoscopy and presence of foreign bodies in the airways. RESULTS: Thirty-four children, 20 (59%) boys, ages ranging from nine months to nine years (median = 23 months). In 32 (94%) children the foreign body was removed by rigid bronchoscope, and two resulted in thoracotomy. Foreign bodies were more frequent in children under three years of age (66%). A clinical history of foreign body inhalation was obtained in 27 (80%) cases. Most of the foreign bodies removed were organic (65%) and more frequently found in the right bronchial tree (59%). Foreign bodies were removed within 24 hours in 18 (53%) cases. The most frequent radiographic findings were: unilateral air trapping, atelectasis and radiopac foreign body. Major bronchoscopy complications occurred in seven children (22%), and there were no deaths. CONCLUSIONS: More attention is necessary to the respiratory symptoms of aspirations, mainly in boys at early ages, with clinical history and compatible radiological findings. Most foreign bodies removed were of organic nature. In this case series, therapeutic rigid bronchoscopy was effective with few complications.

Keywords : Bronchoscopy; Pediatric.

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