How Can a Radiolucent Foreign Body Be Imaged?

Xray Comparison

Most bronchial foreign bodies (including foods and plastics) don’t contain metal or glass, and therefore can’t be seen on normal Xrays.

Special Xrays (taken during Inspiration and Expiration) may show air trapping in one lung, beyond a “radiolucent” foreign body.

In this case, the Xray taken during Inspiration looks normal, even though a peanut is partially obstructing the patient’s right main bronchus.

During Expiration, the right lung can’t deflate properly. This causes the heart to shift far to the patient’s left (towards the right of your computer screen).

Did You Know?!

A 2013 report stated that, from 2001 to 2009, an average of 12,435 children (14 years old or younger) per year were treated in US Emergency Rooms because of food-related choking.[Ref:1]