CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1778015
Original Article

Role of Virtual Bronchoscopy in Evaluation of Suspected Foreign Body in Children's Tracheobronchial Tree

1   Department of Ear, Nose & Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, GMERS Medical College, Gotri, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
Jayman B. Raval
2   Department of Ear, Nose & Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, Baroda Medical College, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
Ranjan G. Aiyer
2   Department of Ear, Nose & Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, Baroda Medical College, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
› Author Affiliations
Funding There are no funding sources.


Introduction The presence of foreign bodies in the airways remain a diagnostic challenge to healthcare professionals. They can become life threatening emergencies that require immediate intervention or go unnoticed for weeks and even months. Prevention is best but early recognition remains a critical factor in treatment of foreign body inhalation in children.

Objective To study the diagnostic advantages of virtual over rigid bronchoscopy in the evaluation of children with suspected foreign body in the tracheobronchial tree and plan for early management.

Methods A crossectional study conducted at a tertiary care hospital & medical college in India. A total 24 patients (0-12-years-old) who presented with complaints of sudden onset of coughing, choking, and breathing difficulty were included during the 2-year duration, from January 2018 to December 2019. All patients underwent virtual and rigid bronchoscopy.

Results In 8 patients, foreign bodies detected by virtual bronchoscopy were confirmed by rigid bronchoscopy. There was one case in which virtual bronchoscopy showed no foreign body, but rigid bronchoscopy detected it. In 15 cases virtual and rigid bronchoscopy did not show foreign bodies. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of virtual bronchoscopy were 88.88, 100, 100, and 93.75%, respectively.

Conclusions Virtual bronchoscopy is less invasive and does not require general anesthesia but cost and availability are limitations. It can be used as method of investigation in children with suspected foreign body aspiration.

Compliance with ethical standards

This article is in compliance with ethical standards.

Ethical Approval

Institutional Ethics Committee approval was taken.

Informed Consent

The study had been performed after taking consent from the parents of patients.

Publication History

Received: 30 June 2023

Accepted: 25 November 2023

Article published online:
05 February 2024

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