ROLE OF CT VIRTUAL ENDOSCOPY IN TRACHEOBRONCHIAL FOREIGN BODY INHALATION
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As foreign bodies (FBs) in respiratory tract are usually in children, history is always vague. Current practice is diagnosis by conventional X-ray. Because most of inhaled FBs are radiotranslucent, rigid endoscopy is carried out for diagnostic purpose in high percentage of cases. The aim of this work is to evaluate a new CT technique called virtual endoscopy to avoid undue rigid endoscopy, which carries hn7ards for patients. This study was carried out, between January 2000 and 2002, on 34 patients (mean age 19 months +15.5) with suspected history of foreign body inhalation. Conventional X-ray study detected only 2 cases (5.9%) with radiopaque FR By virtual bronchoscopy, 21 cases (61.8%) diagnosed as having inhaled FB compared to 20 cases (58.8%) diagnosed by rigid endoscopy. 13 Cases (38.2%) diagnosed by virtual bronchoscopy as having no FB intialation compared to 14 cases (41.2%) diagnosed by rigid endoscopy. We can conclude that CT virtual endoscopy, which is more safer than rigid one, has high sensitivity (95%), specificity (85.7%), predictive volue of positive test (90 5%) predictive value of negative test (92.3%) and diagnostic accuracy (91.2%). If CT virtual endoscopy is available; we strongly recommend it for every patient with suspected FB inhalation and negative X-ray finding.