Computed tomography diagnosis of esophageal bone impaction: A prospective study

Ron Eliashar*, Itzhak Dano, Itzhak Braverman, Eric Dangoor, Jean Yves Sichel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


A prospective study was performed on 45 patients for an assessment of the use of computed tomography (CT) in the management of a suspected esophageal fish bone or chicken bone. All patients had negative findings on laryngoscopy; therefore, pharyngeal and hypopharyngeal foreign bodies were excluded from further consideration The patients underwent radiographic examination with plain films and a cervical CT scan without contrast material. Patients with positive findings were taken to the operating room, where they underwent rigid esophagoscopy under general anesthesia, while those with negative findings remained for observation for 24 hours. Thirty CT scans were positive for an esophageal foreign body, and in all cases but 1, a foreign body was found during the operation. Fourteen of 15 patients with normal CT scan findings managed well with no further intervention. One patient with persistent complaints underwent esophagoscopy, but no foreign body was found. Our conclusion is therefore that CT is a simple and reliable method for diagnosing esophageal bone impaction and may reduce the rate of unnecessary esophagoscopies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)708-710
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number7 I
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone impaction
  • Computed tomography
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Foreign body


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