Role of Flexible Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Airway Foreign Bodies: A 5-Year Experience at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Pediatric Interventional Pulmonology Division, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Foreign body aspiration can be a life-threatening incidence amongst children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness and outcomes of foreign body removal with emphasis on accuracy of flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy and the predictors of post- procedure complications in children.
Materials and Methods: Records of patients who had undergone flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy for foreign body extraction in Namazi Hospital affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences from 2012 to 2017 were retrospectively reviewed.
Results: 109 patients in whom foreign body were detected by flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy were enrolled. The patients' age range was between 10 days to 16 years, with the male predominance and the peak incidence amongst toddlers aged 1 to 2 years. The majority of foreign body were situated in the left main bronchus (22.9%). Coughing (37.5%) and chocking (20.8%) were the most commonly recorded symptoms. Hyperinflation (63.5%) and lung collapse (19.2%) were the most radiological findings. The duration of the procedure for 50.5% of the patients was 5-8 minutes. No complications were recorded during the flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy procedure. Ninety-five percent of the patients had more than one visit before their admission for bronchoscopy with incorrect diagnosis of asthma/reactive airway disease and pneumonia, 74 and 20%, respectively.
Conclusion: Although rigid bronchoscopy is still considered as the gold standard and preferred method in managing the airways foreign bodies, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy also can be used as an effective diagnostic and therapeutic tool with high success.