Hypopharyngeal foreign body masquerading as malignancy


Foreign body ingestion in dental and ENT practice is a commonly encountered emergency. In most cases, particularly in adults, there is a definite history of its ingestion, the nature of the foreign body is usually identifiable and the patient almost always presents immediately. We report an unusual case of an elderly patient with a six month history of progressive dysphagia referred to us by the physicians after investigations which were highly suggestive of a hypopharyngeal malignancy. Surprisingly when a biopsy was attempted, the hypopharyngeal mass turned out to be a dental plate. Dentists and otolaryngologists should be aware that pharyngeal foreign bodies can present without a positive history and can have a clinical presentation mimicking malignancy. A history of head injury, dementia, alcohol and drug abuse should be specifically excluded. A routine examination of a patient with dysphagia should include eliciting a specific history of wearing dentures and examination of teeth. In future designs for dental plates, bridges and crowns the use of a radio opaque material should be considered.

DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.903

Cite this paper

@article{Rana2009HypopharyngealFB, title={Hypopharyngeal foreign body masquerading as malignancy}, author={Indrajit Rana and Mohammed Ismail Syed and Caleb Adams and Lindie Clark}, journal={BDJ}, year={2009}, volume={207}, pages={361-362} }