HomePhilippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeryvol. 31 no. 2 (2016)

A 15-Year Occult Foreign Body in the Subglottic Area of a 50-Year-Old Woman

Donnie Jan L. Segocio | Christine D. Dayanghirang | Joseph E. Cachuela



Objective: To present a case of subglottic foreign body (FB) impaction in a 50-year-old woman diagnosed with bronchial asthma for 15 years.


Design: Case Report

Setting: Tertiary Public Hospital

Patient: One

Results: A 50-year-old woman with recurrent cough and dyspnea for 15 years that had been managed as bronchial asthma developed stridor and halitosis in the last 5 years. Flexible laryngoscopy revealed a subglottic mass and CT scan confrmed a suspicious foreign body in the lumen of the subglottis. Signs and symptoms resolved after peroral endoscopic removal of the foreign body from the larynx. Histopathology of the extracted material from the airway confrmed it to be “bone tissue.”

Conclusion: Foreign body aspiration can occur in adults without predisposing factors. Its diagnosis can be challenging as it can mimic respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma. Endoscopy and computed tomography are valuable for correct diagnosis and management. An incorrect initial diagnosis should be considered in the light of unresolved symptoms and prompt referral to an appropriate specialist may prevent undue suffering and dangerous complications.