Gastric injury secondary to button battery ingestions: a retrospective multicenter review

Published:April 22, 2020DOI:

      Background and Aims

      Removal of gastric button batteries (BBs) remains controversial. Our aim was to better define the spectrum of injury and to characterize clinical factors associated with injury from retained gastric BBs.


      In this multicenter retrospective cohort study from January 2014 through May 2018, pediatric gastroenterologists from 4 pediatric tertiary care centers identified patients, aged 0 to 18 years, who had a retained gastric BB on radiography and subsequently underwent endoscopic assessment. Demographic and clinical information were abstracted from electronic health records using a standard data collection form.


      Sixty-eight patients with a median age of 2.5 years underwent endoscopic retrieval of a gastric BB. At presentation, 17 (25%) were symptomatic. Duration from ingestion to endoscopic removal was known for 65 patients (median, 9 hours [interquartile range, 5-19]). Median time from ingestion to first radiographic evaluation was 2 hours. At endoscopic removal, 60% of cases had visual evidence of mucosal damage, which correlated with duration of BB retention (P = .0018). Time to retrieval of the BB was not statistically significant between symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects (P = .12). After adjusting for age and symptoms, the likelihood of visualizing gastric damage among patients who had BBs removed 12 hours post ingestion was 4.5 times that compared with those with BB removal within 12 hours of ingestion.


      In this study, swallowed BBs posed a risk of damage to the stomach, including a single case of impaction and perforation of the gastric wall. Clinicians may want to consider retrieval within 12 hours of ingestion of gastric BBs. Larger prospective studies to assess risk of injury are needed.


      BB (button battery), BBI (button battery ingestion), IQR (interquartile range)
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