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In their article, the authors provide a selective review of the literature based on a PubMed search (1). The selected publications include retrospective studies, reviews, and recommendations.

They also discuss the ingestion of magnets in adults, but the majority of such cases occur in children. Ingesting this type of foreign body does, however, entail particular risks. If a magnet is swallowed it should not cause any further problems, depending on its size, shape, and surface consistency. Swallowing several magnets, however, or at least one magnet and a further ferromagnetic body can lead to life-threatening complications (2, 3). A report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents 20 cases in the US between 2003 and 2006; perforation occurred in 90% of cases, and volvulus with subsequent bowel ischemia and sepsis with a fatal outcome in one case (2).

The question is whether in such cases, an indication exists for emergency esophagogastroduodenoscopy after conventional radiological diagnostic evaluation, and if queried early surgical intervention, before gastrointestinal complications can develop (3, 4).

DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2013.0298

Dr. med. Sammy A. Baierlein, Bayreuth
sammybaierlein@web.de

Conflict of interest statement
All authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.

The authors of the article have chosen not to publish a reply.

1.
Ambe P, Weber SA, Schauer M, Knoefel WT: Swallowed foreign bodies in adults. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(50): 869−75. VOLLTEXT
2.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Gastrointestinal injuries from magnet ingestion in children--United States, 2003–2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2006; 55: 1296–300. MEDLINE
3.
Butterworth J, Feltis B: Toy magnet ingestion in children: revising the algorithm. J Pediatr Surg 2007; 42: e3–5. CrossRef MEDLINE
4.
Salimi A, Kooraki S, Esfahani SA, Mehdizadeh M. Multiple magnet ingestion: is there a role for early surgical intervention? Ann Saudi Med 2012; 32: 93–6. MEDLINE
1.Ambe P, Weber SA, Schauer M, Knoefel WT: Swallowed foreign bodies in adults. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(50): 869−75. VOLLTEXT
2.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Gastrointestinal injuries from magnet ingestion in children--United States, 2003–2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2006; 55: 1296–300. MEDLINE
3.Butterworth J, Feltis B: Toy magnet ingestion in children: revising the algorithm. J Pediatr Surg 2007; 42: e3–5. CrossRef MEDLINE
4.Salimi A, Kooraki S, Esfahani SA, Mehdizadeh M. Multiple magnet ingestion: is there a role for early surgical intervention? Ann Saudi Med 2012; 32: 93–6. MEDLINE

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