A rare complication of pica: Stone aspiration with severe respiratory distress

Ekinci F., Yildizdas D., Horoz O. O., Kilic S., Gokay N.

NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol.24, no.2, pp.295-298, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_195_20
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.295-298
  • Keywords: Foreign body aspiration, iron deficiency anemia, pica, stone aspiration, FOREIGN-BODY ASPIRATION, CHILDREN, BRONCHOSCOPY, METAANALYSIS, EXPERIENCE
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Tracheobronchial foreign body aspiration (FBA), a common pediatric presentation to emergency departments, is still a public healthcare problem affecting children all over the world. There are several types of foreign bodies reported from different parts of the world, including both organic or nonorganic substances. Pica, another interesting clinical entity, is characterized by persistent eating of nonnutritive substances, which is inappropriate for the maturation stage of the individual. A 3-year-old pediatric patient was admitted to our emergency department with a 3-day history of coughing and new onset respiratory distress. A chest X-ray was performed and it showed a suspicious radiopaque foreign body in the localization of left bronchi. Urgent rigid bronchoscopy was performed. The foreign body in the left main bronchi was, surprisingly, a 0.5-1 cm diameter, irregularly shaped stone particle. The laboratory evaluations and patient history revealed the diagnosis of severe iron deficiency anemia and accompanying pica. Stone aspiration, as an FBA, is a rare but potentially life-threatening complication of pica. Iron deficiency anemia accompanied by pica should be diagnosed and treated in the early stage of the disease because of their complications. According to our knowledge and literature search, this is the first case of stone aspiration as a complication of severe iron deficiency anemia and pica.