Accidental contrast aspiration resulted in air bronchogram on barium swallow

Case contributed by Dr Mohamed Hossam el Deen


Difficultly swallowing and long history of GERD and recent unintentional loss of weight.

Patient Data

Age: 75-80
Gender: Male

Barium swallow showing aspirated contrast outlining the trachea, right main bronchus and bronchioles. 

Some contrast has spread into the smaller airways.

Case Discussion

During the rapid-drinking phase, the patient accidentally aspirated a small amount of barium (without any elicited cough reflex). Contrast outlines the trachea and right main bronchus and smaller amount reached bronchioles. 

Barium aspiration is an indication to terminate a study, and we sent the patient to be under close observation in the hospital for 24 hours. Follow up was done at our outpatient clinic through the rest of the week. Fortunately the patient was totally fine without any respiratory complications.

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Case information

rID: 46769
Published: 16th Jul 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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