UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Metal detector use for esophageal coins

Keywords: Foreign bodies, coins, xrays (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/16/2018 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 11/28/2020)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

Coins are the most commonly ingested foreign body in the pediatric age group with a peak occurrence in children less than 5 years old.  X-rays are considered the gold standard for definitive diagnosis and location of metallic foreign bodies.  This study aimed to find a way to decrease radiation exposure by using a metal detector.

19 patients ages 10 months to 14 years with 20 esophageal coins were enrolled in the study.  All proximal esophageal coins were detected by the metal detector.  5 patient's failed initial detection of the coin with the metal detector and all of those patients had the coin in the mid or distal esophagus with a depth greater than 7 cm from the skin.

Bottom line: A metal detector may detect proximal esophageal coins.  This may have a role in decreasing repeat x-rays.

References

Aljasser A, Elmaraghy C and Jatana K.  Utilization of a handheld metal detector protocol to reduce radiation exposure in pediatric patients with esophageal coins.  International Journal of Pediatric Otolaryngology.  2018: 104-108.