Gastrointestinal complications of accidental ingestion of foreign objects
, p. 27-31
University of Antwerp
Ingestion of foreign objects is common and most of the time, they pass without major problems. However sometimes they could cause significant morbidity or even mortality. Most of the time they cause pain in the pharyngeal or oesophageal area. In these instants, diagnosing the problem is straightforward, limiting the use of radiographic diagnosis. However the intraperitoneal complications include stomach or bowel perforation, obstruction, abscedation, septicemia or even hemorrhage or thrombosis of the abdominal veins. Because of the considerable risks, accompanied by the accidental ingestion of a metallic object, the preferred technique for screening is still Computed Tomography. However not all of these objects are radio-opaque and therefore could not always be diagnosed radiographically. In this article we will describe several cases of complications, due to the accidental ingestion of foreign objects. Also we will describe certain patient related risk factors significantly increasing, not only the amount, but also the severity of those complications. Diverticulosis seems the most common risk factor amongst the patients described and so it could be one of the more common triggers causing (recidivating) diverticulitis attacks. But because not all of the ingested foreign objects are radiopaque or still in the gastrointestinal tract, such a theory is difficult to prove.