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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 27, Issue 1, Pages e1-e4
Original Article

Predictors of Recurrent Ingestion of Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies

Ian C Grimes,1 Bret J Spier,1 Lisa R Swize,1 Mary J Lindstrom,2 and Patrick R Pfau1

1Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, USA
2Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Received 13 January 2012; Accepted 12 August 2012

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal foreign bodies are commonly encountered; however, little knowledge exists as to the causes of foreign body ingestions and why they occur repeatedly in some patients.

OBJECTIVE: To identify and define patients at high risk for recurrent foreign body ingestion.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review of foreign body ingestion was conducted at a tertiary care medical centre over an 11-year period. Variables analyzed included age, sex, incarceration status, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV diagnosis, success of endoscopy, type of sedation used, method of extraction, complications, presence of gastrointestinal pathology, and incidence of recurrent food impaction or foreign body.

RESULTS: A total of 159 patients with a foreign body ingestion were identified. One hundred fourteen (77%) experienced a single episode of ingestion and 45 (23%) experienced multiple ingestions. Of the patients with multiple ingestions, 27 (60%) had recurrent food impactions while 18 (40%) ingested foreign objects. In the recurrent ingestor group, a psychiatric disorder had been diagnosed in 16 patients (35.6%) and there were 13 incarcerated individuals (28.9%). The average number of recurrences was 2.6 per patient (117 total recurrences). Individuals with a psychiatric disorder experienced 3.9 recurrences per patient, while prisoners averaged 4.1 recurrences per patient. The combination of a psychiatric disorder and being incarcerated was associated with the highest recurrence rate (4.33 per patient). Multivariable logistic regression revealed that male sex (OR 2.9; P=0.022), being incarcerated (OR 3.0; P=0.024) and the presence of a psychiatric disorder (OR 2.5; P=0.03) were risk factors for recurrent ingestion.

CONCLUSION: Risk factors for recurrent ingestion of foreign bodies were male sex, being incarcerated and the presence of a psychiatric disorder.