European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 276, Issue 1, pp 185–191 | Cite as

Predictive factors for complications associated with penetrated fish bones outside the upper gastrointestinal tract

  • Qingguo Chen
  • Hanqi Chu
  • Ting Tong
  • Yanling Tao
  • Liangqiang Zhou
  • Jin Chen
  • Yun Liu
  • Liyan PengEmail author



To investigate predictive risk factors for complications associated with migrating fish bones in the surrounding tissue of upper gastrointestinal tract.


A retrospective analysis over 12 years was conducted of 45 cases of buried fish bones in the surrounding tissue of upper gastrointestinal tract with complications. Meanwhile, a control group, including 39 cases of prolonged buried fish bones in the surrounding tissue of upper gastrointestinal tract without complications, was set. Patient clinical data were collected and analyzed to predict the risk factors for complications.


The results of Chi-square test and univariate analysis both showed a significant difference in length of fish bone (> 2 cm), a history of concurrent medical illness (diabetes mellitus and renal hypofunction), symptoms (medium or heavy pain and dysphagia), and duration of significant symptoms (> 7 days) between the complication group and non-complication group. Multivariate analysis further identified length (> 2 cm), diabetes mellitus, medium or heavy pain, dysphagia, and duration of significant symptoms (> 7 days) as independent risk factors for complications.


The consequences of fish bones migrating outside the upper gastrointestinal tract are various in different people. Awareness should be raised when encountering a patient ingesting a long fish bone, having a history of diabetes mellitus, presenting with significant discomforts, or these discomforts lasting for a long time. This study will help practitioners counsel their patients on the risks and `benefits of surgery versus observation of this condition.


Fish bone Penetration Upper gastrointestinal tract Risk factor Complication 



This study is funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers: 81300827 and 81500791).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryTaikang Tongji (Wuhan) HospitalWuhanChina

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