Bshara Mansour MD and Nael Elias MD MHA
Background: Foreign body aspiration (FBA) is common in the pediatric population and if not diagnosed and treated properly can lead to major complications.
Objectives: To define the clinical and radiological features of aspirated foreign bodies, characterize the incidence of FBA among the Israeli-Arab population, and evaluate flexible bronchoscopy as a diagnostic tool prior to performing rigid bronchoscopy.
Methods: We reviewed the e-files of 115 children who underwent bronchoscopy for suspected FBA between January 2006 and December 2010 in the pediatric department of the St. Vincent French Hospital, Nazareth.
Results: We identified 44 patients (38.3%) who had foreign body aspiration (mean age 31.2 ± 29 months, males 64%). Organic-type foreign body was seen in 70% of cases and location was equally distributed. Statistically significant correlations were found between the presence of a foreign body and a history of choking, abnormal lung auscultation, and abnormal chest X-ray (P < 0.05). The rate of negative finding in rigid bronchoscopy in our study was as low as 15% (in only 8 of 52 rigid bronchoscopies was the finding negative for FBA). Compared with other centers in our region where rigid bronchoscopy was performed without the preceding flexible procedure, we found that our protocol reduced the rate of negative rigid bronchoscopies.
Conclusions: Introducing flexible bronchoscopy initially in FBA management reduced the rate of negative rigid bronchoscopies.