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Long term follow up after inhalation of foreign bodies.
  1. H Davies,
  2. I Gordon,
  3. D J Matthew,
  4. P Helms,
  5. I J Kenney,
  6. J E Lutkin,
  7. W Lenney
  1. Hospital for Sick Children, London.


    The long term results of treatment of inhalation of foreign bodies in a district children's hospital and in a tertiary referral centre were reviewed by clinical assessment, chest radiography, and standard four view 81mKr ventilation/99mTc macroaggregated albumin perfusion imaging (V/Q lung scan). The overall incidence in the population served by the district hospital was roughly one in 14,000/year. Of the 12 children reviewed there, three had abnormal chest radiographs and four had abnormal V/Q scans as a result of inhalation of the foreign bodies. Of 21 children treated and reviewed at the referral centre, eight had abnormal chest radiographs, and 14 had abnormal V/Q lung scans. Three factors were assessed for prognostic importance: site of impaction, initial radiographic appearance, and time before removal. A child who had inhaled a foreign body into the left lung and who had collapse/consolidation on the initial chest radiograph was at greatest risk of long term complications. These children merit close follow up.

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