Swallowed broken glass

Case contributed by Dr Daniel J Bell


Swallowed two separate fragments of glass from broken bottle

Patient Data

Age: 20 years
Gender: Male

15 x 10 mm and 25 x 18 mm well-circumscribed radiopaque foreign bodies projected in the left upper quadrant (left lateral to L1-L2 disc space) and right lower quadrant (overlying the right iliac wing) respectively, consistent with swallowed pieces of glass. Right lower quadrant piece of glass likely lies within the proximal ascending colon, whilst the left upper quadrant piece may lie in the stomach or proximal small bowel.

No evidence of bowel obstruction or perforation.


Single fragment of glass retrieved by endoscopist whilst performing gastroscopy. The shape and size of the fragment corresponds to the radiopaque foreign body in the LUQ on the AXR.

Case Discussion

Although a patient presenting having swallowed fragments of glass is somewhat alarming, it is fortunate that most pieces pass through the body without any deleterious sequelae. 

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 69432
Published: 11th Jul 2019
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: North Middlesex University Hospital

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.