Ingested metallic foreign bodies (MFBs) are usually diagnosed by taking X-ray films of the neck, chest and/or abdomen. This study evaluates the use of a hand-held metal detector (HHMD) for the diagnosis and localisation of MFBs. In a prospective study, 53 consecutive paediatric patients with history of a swallowed MFB were examined with X-rays and HHMD. In 47 children, the MFB could be verified radiologically. Coins were most frequently swallowed. The HHMD could detect and locate all coins but only 47% of other MFBs. There were no false-positive results. A HHMD is an effective tool for screening the location of suspected ingested coins. This method is easy, inexpensive and free of radiation. Very small MFBs cannot be reliably detected. Conclusion:if an innocuous metallic foreign body is clearly identified with a hand-held metal detector in the stomach or lower gastrointestinal tract of an asymptomatic child, additional radiological confirmation is not required.
Diagnostic techniques Digestive system Foreign bodies
hand-held metal detector
metallic foreign bodies
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (1995) Guidelines for the management of ingested foreign bodies. Gastrointest Endosc 42: 622–625PubMedGoogle Scholar
Arana A, Hauser B, Hachimi-Idrissi S, Vandenplas Y (2001) Management of ingested foreign bodies in childhood and review of the literature. Eur J Pediatr 160: 468–472CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Dahiya M, Denton JS (1999) Esophagoaortic perforation by foreign body (coin) causing sudden death in a 3-year-old child. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 20: 184–188CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Gooden EA, Forte V, Papsin B (2000) Use of a commercially available metal detector for the localization of metallic foreign body ingestion in children. J Otolaryngol 29: 218–220PubMedGoogle Scholar
Janik JS, Bailey WC, Burrington JD (1986) Occult coin perforation of the esophagus. J Pediatr Surg 21: 794–797PubMedGoogle Scholar
O’Brien GC, Winter DC, Kirwan WO, Redmond HP (2001) Ingested foreign bodies in the paediatric patient. Ir J Med Sci 170: 100–102PubMedGoogle Scholar
Ros SP, Cetta F (1992) Metal detectors: an alternative approach to the evaluation of coin ingestions in children? Pediatr Emerg Care 8: 134–136PubMedGoogle Scholar
Sacchetti A, Carraccio C, Lichenstein R (1994) Hand-held metal detector identification of ingested foreign bodies. Pediatr Emerg Care 10: 204–207PubMedGoogle Scholar
Seikel K, Primm PA, Elizondo BJ, Remley KL (1999) Handheld metal detector localization of ingested metallic foreign bodies: accurate in any hands? Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 153: 853–857PubMedGoogle Scholar
Wai Pak M, Chung Lee W, Kwok Fung H, van Hasselt CA (2001) A prospective study of foreign-body ingestion in 311 children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 58: 37–45CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Younger RM, Darrow DH (2001) Handheld metal detector confirmation of radio-opaque foreign bodies in the esophagus. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 127: 1371–1374PubMedGoogle Scholar