Magnet-associated intestinal perforation results in a new institutional policy of ferromagnetic screening prior to MRI

Hayley Baines, Nicholas C. Saenz, Christopher Dory, Sara M. Marchese, Laurie Bernard-Stover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Foreign body ingestions are common and the vast majority pass through the gastrointestinal tract without complication. Some ingestions, however, result in serious morbidity and mortality.We present a case in which the patient's chief complaint of severe posterior neck pain was unrelated to his foreign body ingestion (multiple magnets). The ingestion of magnets was not disclosed by the child to either the providing medical team or to the patient's family. In order to evaluate the patient's complaint of severe focal neck pain, MRI of the neck was performed. The authors believe it to be feasible that the MRI scan resulted in intestinal perforations that might not have occurred during the natural course of the ingestion. This complication might have been prevented if the patient had undergone screening with a ferromagnetic detector prior to entering the MRI suite. Because of the serious complications related to this case, all pediatric patients at our institution are now screened with ferromagnetic detectors prior to entering the MRI suite. We encourage nationwide policy revision to prevent further incidents similar to the one described in this case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1509
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Intestinal Perforation
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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