Foreign body ingestion in children: Should button batteries in the stomach be urgently removed?

Jun Hee Lee, Jee Hoo Lee, Jung Ok Shim, Jung Hwa Lee, Baik Lin Eun, Kee Hwan Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Foreign body (FB) ingestion is common in children, and button battery (BB) ingestion has been increasing in recent years. This study was to identify factors related to outcomes of FB ingestion, particularly BBs in the stomach. We evaluated whether the current recommendations are appropriate and aimed to suggest indications for endoscopic removal of BB in the stomach in young children. Methods: We investigated patient age, shape, size, location of FBs, spontaneous passage time and resulting complications among 76 children. We observed types, size, location of BB and outcomes, and analyzed their associations with complications. Results: Coins and BB were the two most common FBs. Their shapes and sizes were not associated with the spontaneous passage time. Size, spontaneous passage time, and age were also not associated with any specific complications. For BB ingestion, all 5 cases with lithium batteries (≥1.5 cm, 3 V) presented moderate to major complications in the esophagus and stomach without any symptoms, even when the batteries were in the stomach and beyond the duodenum, while no complications were noted in 7 cases with alkaline batteries (<1.5 cm, 1.5 V) (p=0.001). All endoscopies were conducted within 24 hours after ingestion. Conclusion: The type and voltage of the battery should be considered when determining whether endoscopy is required to remove a BB in the stomach. For lithium battery ingestion in young children, urgent endoscopic removal might be important in order to prevent complications, even if the child is asymptomatic and the battery is smaller than 2 cm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-18
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.


  • Button battery
  • Endoscopy
  • Foreign bodies
  • Ingestion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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