Annals of Pediatric Cardiology
About us | Current Issue | Archives | Ahead of Print | Instructions | Submission | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact | Login 


    Advanced search

    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

   Clinical summary
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded176    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal


Table of Contents   
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 94-95
Pneumopericardium due to ingestion of button battery

Department of Pediatrics, Dr. S. N. Medical College, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication19-Jan-2016


Mostly ingested button batteries passed through the gastrointestinal tract without any adverse effects. But button battery can lead to hazardous complications including tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), especially when the battery is impacted in the esophagus. Urgent esophagoscopic removal of the battery is essential in all cases. Once the TEF is identified, conservative management is the initial treatment of choice. Delayed primary repair can be tried if spontaneous closure does not occur. Here in we want to report a rare case of air leak syndrome, pneumo-pericardium secondary to the corrosive effect of a button battery and child recovered completely with conservative management.

Keywords: Air leak syndrome, button battery, corrosive, esophageal-pericardial foreign body, pneumopericardium

How to cite this article:
Soni JP, Choudhary S, Sharma P, Makwana M. Pneumopericardium due to ingestion of button battery. Ann Pediatr Card 2016;9:94-5

How to cite this URL:
Soni JP, Choudhary S, Sharma P, Makwana M. Pneumopericardium due to ingestion of button battery. Ann Pediatr Card [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Aug 14];9:94-5. Available from:

   Clinical summary Top

A 3-year-old male child was admitted with complaints of fever off and on from the past 20 days. The child suddenly developed difficulty in breathing and pain in the abdomen. He was admitted to the district hospital for management and treated with parenteral antibiotics and oxygen inhalation, but his condition remained unchanged and was referred to the Medical College Hospital. On arrival at our institute, the child had fever, tachycardia, and tachypnea. There was marked intercostal retraction and pericardial rub present. His blood examination revealed polymorphonuclear leukocytosis. The first X-ray chest posterior-anterior view [Figure 1] revealed a foreign body at the lower end of the esophagus along with pneumopericardium. The patient was referred to the gastroenterologist for endoscopy. Under ketamine anesthesia, upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy was done, and a rusted round button shape battery cell was removed. Endoscopy revealed necrotic patch at the site of impaction of the cell. Because of suspicion of esophago-pericardial fistula (EPF), local lesion was not further examined, as sealed lesion may open up and produce massive pneumopericardium. Repeat X-ray chest [Figure 2] done after endoscopy revealed little increase in pneumopericardium. Echocardiography showed minimal pericardial effusion with normal cardiac function. His blood culture had the growth of Gram-positive coagulase-negative staphylococci sensitive to vancomycin. The child was given injection vancomycin and ceftriaoxone and managed in the pediatric intensive care unit under strict cardiac and respiratory monitoring. The child did not require surgical drainage of the air leak as it resorbed gradually on its own and never assumed massive dimensions. The fistulous connection managed conservatively and healed on its own.
Figure 1: X-ray chest depicting battery cell and pneumopericardium

Click here to view
Figure 2: X-ray chest showing increase in pneumopericardium after endoscopic removal of battery cell from esophagus

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Air leak syndromes are a group of clinically recognizable disorder produced either by alveolar rupture or due to GI perforation following which air escapes into the tissue, in which air is usually not normally present. EPF is an uncommon complication following impaction of a foreign body. [1],[2],[3] Pneumopericardium is a rare condition with a very high mortality. The majority of cases are due to perforation of either esophagus or bronchi into the pericardial cavity. The esophagus is in direct contact with the pericardium at the lower thoracic vertebrae level. Recorded causes of EPF include ingested foreign bodies such as fish bone, benign ulceration in association with hiatus hernia, esophageal carcinoma, and achalasia. Mostly, ingested button batteries passed through the GI tract without any adverse effects but can lead to hazardous complications including tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), especially when the battery is impacted in the esophagus. Esophageal button battery impaction places the patient at high-risk for full-thickness damage to the esophagus and tracheal structures with fistula formation in as little as a few hours' time. [4] Because of the complications associated with this disease (TEF) and subsequent difficulties associated with oxygenation and ventilation, these patients should be managed at an institution with the skilled capability of providing cardiopulmonary bypass quickly as a potentially lifesaving therapy. [5]

The key to successful therapy is prompt diagnosis and removal of foreign body, pericardial drainage, and appropriate antibiotic coverage along with elective operative closure of the fistula. Palliative therapy for patients with malignant TEFs is the endoscopic placement of covered self-expanding metallic stents, which allow closure of the fistula. Reeder et al. have reported mortality rates of 9% after early and 29% after late diagnosis among nonmalignant esophageal perforation. [6] Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment for EPF are essential for improving the clinical outcome. Our-patient though came late but recovered with conservative management.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Abdulkareem I, Sabir OM, Elamin A. Button battery induced traumatic tracheoesophageal fistula: Case report and review of literature. Sudan J Paediatr 2011;11:43-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Alkan M, Büyükyavuz I, Dogru D, Yalçin E, Karnak I. Tracheoesophageal fistula due to disc-battery ingestion. Eur J Pediatr Surg 2004;14:274-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
Chan YL, Chang SS, Kao KL, Liao HC, Liaw SJ, Chiu TF, et al. Clinical analysis of disc battery ingestion in children. Chang Gung Med J 2004;27:673-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Slamon NB, Hertzog JH, Penfil SH, Raphaely RC, Pizarro C, Derby CD. An unusual case of button battery-induced traumatic tracheoesophageal fistula. Pediatr Emerg Care 2008;24:313-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Han Y, Lu Q, Zhang T, Wang X. Pneumopericardium and esophagopericardial fistula presenting as pericarditis in a 1-year-old boy. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2008;34:1120-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
Reeder LB, DeFilippi VJ, Ferguson MK. Current results of therapy for esophageal perforation. Am J Surg 1995;169:615-7.  Back to cited text no. 6

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Choudhary
Department of Pediatrics, Dr. S. N. Medical College, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2069.171387

Rights and Permissions


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Unilateral rhinorrhoea and button battery: a case report
Geng Ju Tuang, Nik Roslina Nik Hussin, Zainal Azmi Zainal Abidin
Family Medicine and Community Health. 2019; 7(3): e000137
[Pubmed] | [DOI]