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Paediatric aerodigestive foreign bodies: remember the nasopharynx

  • S D MacNeil (a1), J P Moxham (a2) and F K Kozak (a2)



Nasopharyngeal foreign bodies are relatively uncommon, compared with other aerodigestive sites. They may mimic a lower airway location, or may be coughed up into the nasopharynx prior to endoscopic evaluation.


To describe our experience with nasopharyngeal foreign bodies mimicking a more distal airway location.


Case series from a tertiary referral children's hospital.


We present a series of four children who were initially thought to have a lower aerodigestive tract foreign body (three respiratory, one oesophageal), but who were finally diagnosed with nasopharyngeal foreign body. The concept of panendoscopy at all foreign body removals is suggested as a means to avoid a missed nasopharyngeal foreign body.


Although nasopharyngeal foreign bodies are uncommon, their rare ability to mimic distal sites mandates a thorough endoscopic approach to ensure that all sites (i.e. larynx, lungs, oesophagus and nasopharynx) are evaluated endoscopically.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: J Paul Moxham, Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, University of British Columbia, BC Children's Hospital, B321-4480 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada. Fax: +1 604 875 2498 E-mail:


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Presented as a poster at the ABEA (COSM) Combined Otolaryngology Society Meeting, 1–2 May 2008, Orlando, Florida, USA.



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Paediatric aerodigestive foreign bodies: remember the nasopharynx

  • S D MacNeil (a1), J P Moxham (a2) and F K Kozak (a2)


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