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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Cagini L. 1, Ragusa M. 1, Vannucci J. 1, Andolfi M. 1, Cirulli P. 2, Scialpi M. 1, Peduto V. A. 2, Puma F. 1
1 Thoracic Surgery Unit, Department of Surgical Science, Ospedale S. Maria, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy;
2 Anestesiology Unit, Department of Emergency and Urgent Care, Ospedale S. Maria, Perugia, Italy
Background: Cricopharyngeal foreign bodies (FBs) impaction in adults is a common clinical problem; without treatment, the sequelae may be lethal due to local and/or mediastinal infection. When direct laryngoscopy and flexible fiberoptic endoscopy are ineffective, rigid endoscopy is the method of choice requiring general anesthesia. The new video laryngoscopes represent a great advancement in the assessment of the laryngeal inlet. Aim of the study was to assess the feasibility of identifying and removing FBs impacted at crycofaringeal and upper oesophageal sphincter by the video laryngoscope.
Methods: In a period of 30 months, on an urgent basis, we systematically assessed by GlideScope® video laryngoscope all adult patients with a diagnosis of impacted crycofaringeal upper esophageal FB, after unsuccessful removal attempts in the otolaryngology or gastroenterology unit.
Results: Twenty-six consecutive patients were evaluated. In conscious sedation by video laryngoscope 17 FBs were identified and removed from the hypopharynx or upper esophageal sphincter. In 9 patients rigid endoscopy in general anesthesia and tracheal intubation was necessary to remove FBs impacted beyond the upper esophageal sphincter.
Conclusion: In our experience video laryngoscope, because of the magnified vision, the better patient comfort and no requirement of general anesthesia, represents a great improvement in identifying and removing in conscious sedation even small and thin foreign bodies not recognized by radiological and otolaryngology examination and not readily detected by direct endoscopy.