Lithium Disk Battery: The Silent Killer

Alfredo Rossi, Arrigo Barabino, Silvia Vignola, Marta Bini


Over the last ten years the ingestion of disk battery have been increasing in children with serious consequences. The severity of injury is mostly related to the growing diffusion of new lithium batteries (LB) that may cause catastrophic damages when lodged in the esophagus. In most cases deaths are direct consequence of high flow fistula which occurs between esophagus and aorta or other major vascular mediastinic vessel. Therefore, the primary goal of the management should be to evaluate the possible vascular (aortic) involvement before to endoscopically remove the battery itself. We propose a new protocol for its management. Treatment of LB ingestion requires a multidisciplinary approach that can be implemented only in a tertiary pediatric hospital. Surgery can play an important role. Advice is provided for primary care physicians to correctly approach this emergent and potentially fatal hazard.


Lithium battery ingestion; Aorto-esophageal fistula; Children

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