Ingested foreign bodies: Patient-guided localization is a useful clinical tool

A. A P Connolly, M. Birchall, G. P. Walsh-Waring, V. Moore-Gillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We prospectively studied the latest 60 patients who presented to the ENT Departments of St Mary's and St George's Hospitals with ingested foreign bodies. Localization of the foreign body by the patient was compared to the actual site of the foreign body at removal and graded accordingly, Localization was better the higher the object. When compared with objects above the cricopharyngeus muscle items impacted below this level were poorly localized (P < 0.0001) and lateralized (P < 0.0001). This suggests that for a patient who is able to lateralize a presumptive foreign body within the cervical region, then that object is likely to be above cricopharyngeus and on the side indicated. Further, it is likely to be visible on indirect laryngoscopy and amenable to removal in the casualty department. We hypothesize that the pharyngeal innervation by the vagus and glossopharyngeal nerves provides better sensation than in the oesophagus which is innervated less densely by the vagus and cervical sympathetic nerves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Otolaryngology and Allied Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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