Analysis of Complications After Button Battery Ingestion in Children

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Button battery ingestion (BBI) in children may cause severe complications. This analysis is a literature review of complications after pediatric BBI.


Literature was searched on PubMed (1995–2015) using the terms “button battery,” “ingestion,” and “children.” End points were age, type and diameter of battery, complications, affected organ, and fatality.


A total of 31 publications were analyzed. Patients from 4 months to 19 years old were included (n = 136,191, with n = 102,143 or 75% aged <6 y). In 6262, the diameter of the battery was documented. Batteries of 20 mm or greater in size were more prone to complications (n = 226). With regard to the anatomy, BBI caused complications mainly in the esophagus (n = 88, 38.94%). Sixty-one fatal outcomes were reported.


Children younger than 6 years are the most prone to BBI, with lithium batteries of 20 mm or greater in size associated with complications. Complications have been estimated at 0.165%, with lethality of 0.04%. The esophagus is the most affected organ, but vascular involvement is often fatal.

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