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Gut. 2007 August; 56(8): 1071.
PMCID: PMC1955521

EDITOR'S QUIZ: GI SNAPSHOT

Answer

From question on page 1065

During operation, a 20 cm section of ileum packed with metallic objects protruding through the serosa, together with ileocaecal and ileoileal fistulae were found. The caecal fistula was closed and the affected ileal segment resected. The specimen contained [gt-or-equal, slanted]90 metal parts (ring pulls, pen nibs, drawing pins and cigarette lighter parts) together with a small powerful magnet. His obsession with metal eating had started 11 years ago, but since x rays had confirmed their passage through the gastrointestinal tract, regular surveillance had been abandoned 2 years prior to presentation. Our patient might have continued to tolerate his strange diet had he not ingested the magnet, which caused concentration of metal objects in a short section of ileum, obstructing its lumen and ultimately causing perforation. From this case, the authors point out that metal ingestion is not innocuous, should be monitored by periodic x rays, and that magnet ingestion should be avoided.


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