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Tracheobronchial foreign body aspiration in children aged ≤ 2 years: the use of flexible bronchoscopy and urology stone retrieval basket in emergency setting

  • Paola Ciriaco1
  • Angelo Carretta1,2
  • Piergiorgio Muriana1
  • Giampiero Negri1,2

1Department of Thoracic Surgery, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

2School of Medicine, Vita-salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2021.014 Vol.17,Issue 2,March 2021 pp.93-97

Published: 08 March 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Paola Ciriaco E-mail:


Objective: Tracheobronchial aspiration of foreign body in children is an emergency that can lead to major complications. In the last years flexible bronchoscopy has gained popularity for foreign bodies retrieval in the pediatric population, yet the small size of the pediatric airway and of the flexible bronchoscope channel limit the availability of instruments during the procedure. Aim of this paper is to describe our experience in treating foreign bodies tracheobronchial aspiration in children aged 2 years or less by means of flexible bronchoscope and an urology stone retrieval basket.

Methods: A review of endoscopic foreign bodies removal by means of flexible bronchoscopy and urology stone retrieval basket has been carried out in children ≤ 2 years that presented at the Emergency Room of our hospital from 2005 to 2019. In the paper, we analyze characteristics of patients, timing of bronchoscopy, instruments and operative management.

Results: There were 25 patients with a mean age of 20 ± 3.8 months. Organic material was the most frequent observed foreign body. Association of main bronchus and distal bronchi was the preferred site of the foreign body in 19 patients and the right side of the bronchial tree was involved in 17 cases. Complications occurred in one case. Mean operation time was 37 ± 20 minutes.

Conclusions: The use of flexible bronchoscope can be helpful in handling endoscopic removal of tracheobronchial foreign bodies in toddlers. The use of the urology stone retrieval basket resulted very effective in all shapes of foreign bodies and/or when the object was located in the distal bronchi.


Foreign body; Aspiration; Bronchoscopy; Children

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Paola Ciriaco,Angelo Carretta,Piergiorgio Muriana,Giampiero Negri. Tracheobronchial foreign body aspiration in children aged ≤ 2 years: the use of flexible bronchoscopy and urology stone retrieval basket in emergency setting. Signa Vitae. 2021. 17(2);93-97.


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