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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Unusual Case of Stridor: Severe Tracheal Narrowing Secondary to Esophageal Food Impaction

  • Author(s): McCreery, Ryan
  • Meigh, Matthew
  • et al.

Foreign body impaction (FBI) in the esophagus has the potential to be a serious condition with a high mortality rate. Although the majority of foreign bodies trapped within the esophagus pass spontaneously, some do require endoscopic intervention. This case discusses a 95-year-old-female with a history of cerebral vascular accident who presented with acute onset respiratory distress with inspiratory stridor. The patient denied any episodes of choking or foreign body sensation. Further imaging revealed a large food bolus within the esophagus with extensive tracheal narrowing. The patient was diagnosed promptly and successfully managed endoscopically. This case presentation emphasizes the need to maintain a high index of clinical suspicion for FBI in high-risk populations, especially when the patient’s history makes it unlikely. In the setting of respiratory complications, airway protection remains a priority, but an accurate diagnosis with timely intervention is paramount.

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