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Case Reports in Pulmonology
Volume 2014, Article ID 215832, 3 pages
Case Report

Aspiration of Barium Contrast

1Unidad de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
2Unidad de Neumología, Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain

Received 30 May 2014; Accepted 11 September 2014; Published 21 September 2014

Academic Editor: John Murchison

Copyright © 2014 Cristina Fuentes Santos and Bárbara Steen. 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.


The aspiration of barium contrast is a rare complication that may occur during studies of the digestive tract. Barium is an inert material that can cause anywhere from an asymptomatic mechanical obstruction to serious symptoms of respiratory distress that can result in patient death. We present the case of a 79-year-old male patient in whom we observed the presence of contrast medium residue in the lung parenchyma as an incidental finding during hospitalization. When the patient’s medical file was reviewed, images were found of a barium swallow study that the patient had undergone months earlier, and we were able to observe the exact moment of the aspiration of the contrast material. The patient had been asymptomatic since the test.