Foreign body aspiration in adults

Ali Bin Zubairi, A. S. Haque, S. J. Husain, J. A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Foreign body aspiration is not an uncommon problem, particularly in children, the elderly, and those with predisposing factors like neurological impairment. In adults, regional differences exist in the type of foreign body aspirated. We report four cases of foreign body aspiration in South Asian adults, three of which were related to the widespread habit of chewing stimulant seeds such as betel nuts (two) and tamarind seed (one). It is important for clinicians to maintain a high index of suspicion for the diagnosis of foreign body inhalation in the appropriate clinical setting. Bronchoscopy is necessary not only for the diagnosis but also for the removal of foreign body from the branchial tree. Once the foreign body is removed, the improvement in symptoms is usually dramatic, making it rewarding for any physician to manage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-418
Number of pages4
JournalSingapore Medical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Betel nut
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Foreign body aspiration
  • Stimulant seeds
  • Tamarind seed


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