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Special Feature
September 1998

Radiological Case of the Month

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(9):922. doi:

Figure 1. Initial anteroposterior inspiratory chest radiograph shows no abnormalities.

Figure 2. Anteroposterior inspiratory chest radiograph on day 2 shows complete opacification of the left hemithorax with marked shift of the mediastinum to the left. The right lung is hyperinflated. These findings indicate complete left lung atelectasis.

The child underwent rigid bronchoscopy, and an orange seed was removed from the left main stem bronchus. Foreign body aspiration into the respiratory tract in children is a common problem, and is life threatening if the object completely obstructs the larynx or trachea. Children younger than 5 years, usually between 1 and 2 years old, are at high risk of foreign body aspiration.1 Any type of material can be aspirated into the airways; eg, peanuts, nuts, seeds, beans, corn, hot dogs, and toy fragments.1-3 Boys are more commonly affected at a ratio of 2:1.1-4 Foreign bodies can become lodged in any portion of the airways. The most common site is the right main stem bronchus.3

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