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Extraluminal migration of a coin in the oesophagus of a child misdiagnosed as asthma
  1. R A P Persaud1,
  2. N Sudhakaran2,
  3. C C Ong1,
  4. D A Bowdler1,
  5. E Dykes2
  1. 1Department of Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, University Hospital Lewisham, London
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Surgery, University Hospital Lewisham
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Persaud, Department of ENT Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH, UK(RandM.Persaud{at}


Ingestion of a foreign body, the commonest being a coin, is a common problem in children. In most cases the coin will pass uneventfully through the gastrointestinal tract. However, on rare occasions it may become lodged in the oesophagus with subsequent extraluminal migration with the potential for serious complications such as vascular fistula or chronic suppurative infection. A case is presented of extraluminal migration of a coin in the oesophageal associated with abscess formation in a 15 month old boy. This case is particularly important because the presenting symptom of wheezing led to the erroneous diagnosis of asthma, which resulted in a three month delay in investigation and treatment. In addition, it raises the issue of whether to perform chest radiography on newly diagnosed asthmatic patients to rule out the presence of a foreign body and thereby prevent serious complications.

  • coin
  • extraluminal migration

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.