Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 178–185 | Cite as

Imaging button battery ingestions and insertions in children: a 15-year single-center review

  • Brian S. Pugmire
  • Tom K. Lin
  • Scott Pentiuk
  • Alessandro de Alarcon
  • Catherine K. Hart
  • Andrew T. TroutEmail author
Original Article



Recent studies have shown an increase in morbidity associated with button battery ingestions in children.


To perform a comprehensive, imaging-focused review of all patients with confirmed button battery ingestions/insertions imaged at our institution in the last 15 years.

Materials and methods

Radiology reports from Jan. 1, 2000, to July 12, 2015, were searched for the terms “battery” and “batteries.” Confirmed cases of battery ingestion/insertion for which images were available were reviewed. Cases were reviewed for imaging studies performed, imaging findings, patient demographics, clinical history and management. Two pediatric gastroenterologists reviewed endoscopic images and graded mucosal injuries in selected cases.


Two hundred seventy-six cases were reviewed. All patients were imaged with radiography, 19 with fluoroscopy (6.8%), and 4 with CT (1.4%). Batteries retained in the esophagus (n = 27, 9.8%) were larger in diameter on average than those that had passed distally (22.1 ± 3.3 mm vs. 13.7 ± 1.6 mm, P<0.0001). Battery diameter ≥20 mm was associated with esophageal impaction (P<0.0001) and higher grade esophageal injury (P<0.0001). Mean battery diameter was greater for patients with grade 1 or higher mucosal injury than for patients with no mucosal injury (22.1 ± 2.1 mm vs. 14.7 ± 4.5 mm, P<0.0001). Sixteen percent (4/25) of patients with grade ≥1 esophageal injury had batteries in the stomach on initial imaging. Five patients (1.8%) had serious clinical complications (e.g., esophageal perforation, tracheoesophageal fistula).


Button batteries >20mm in diameter warrant increased clinical scrutiny due to higher likelihood and severity of injury. Implementation of recent pediatric gastroenterology societal guidelines will likely lead to a substantial increase in the number of CT and MRI examinations.


Button batteries Children Computed tomography Esophagus Foreign body Gastrointestinal tract Radiography 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian S. Pugmire
    • 1
  • Tom K. Lin
    • 2
  • Scott Pentiuk
    • 2
  • Alessandro de Alarcon
    • 3
    • 4
  • Catherine K. Hart
    • 3
    • 4
  • Andrew T. Trout
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology Hepatology and NutritionCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric OtolaryngologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Otolaryngology––Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA

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