J Korean Soc Radiol.  2022 Mar;83(2):293-303. 10.3348/jksr.2021.0084.

A Pictorial Review of Radiologic Findings of Foreign Bodies in the Thorax

  • 1Department of Radiology, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea
  • 2Department of Radiology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Radiology, Kangwon National University Hospital, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 4Department of Radiology, Veterans Health Service Medical Center, Seoul, Korea


Thoracic foreign bodies (FBs) are serious and relatively frequent in emergency departments. Thoracic FBs may occur in association with aspiration, ingestion, trauma, or iatrogenic causes. Imaging plays an important role in the identification of FBs and their dimensions, structures, and locations, before the initiation of interventional treatment. To guide proper clinical management, radiologists should be aware of the radiologic presentations and the consequences of thoracic FBs. In this pictorial essay, we reviewed the optimal imaging settings to identify FBs in the thorax, classified thoracic FBs into four types according to their etiology, and reviewed the characteristic imaging features and the possible complications.


Foreign Bodies; Thorax; Radiography; Computed Tomography; X-Ray
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