Clin Endosc.  2016 Jul;49(4):318-326. 10.5946/ce.2016.087.

Oroesophageal Fish Bone Foreign Body

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea.


Fish bone foreign body (FFB) is the most frequent food-associated foreign body (FB) in adults, especially in Asia, versus meat in Western countries. The esophageal sphincter is the most common lodging site. Esophageal FB disease tends to occur more frequently in men than in women. The first diagnostic method is laryngoscopic examination. Because simple radiography of the neck has low sensitivity, if perforation or severe complications requiring surgery are expected, computed tomography should be used. The risk factors associated with poor prognosis are long time lapse after FB involvement, bone type, and longer FB (>3 cm). Bleeding and perforation are more common in FFB disease than in other FB diseases. Esophageal FB disease requires urgent treatment within 24 hours. However, FFB disease needs emergent treatment, preferably within 2 hours, and definitely within 6 hours. Esophageal FFB disease usually occurs at the physiological stricture of the esophagus. The aortic arch eminence is the second physiological stricture. If the FB penetrates the esophageal wall, a life-threatening aortoesophageal fistula can develop. Therefore, it is better to consult a thoracic surgeon prior to endoscopic removal.


Seafood; Bone and bones; Foreign bodies; Esophagus; Pharynx
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