Types of foreign bodies on abdominal X rays

Which types of foreign bodies are encountered on abdominal radiographs? 

A wide range of foreign bodies are radiopaque and therefore visible at abdominal radiography. They can be categorized as intraluminal or extraluminal for logistical purposes.

Common Causes of Radiopaque Foreign Bodies

IntraluminalExtraluminal
BezoarsSurgical clips (either in expected or migrated position)
Markers for measurement of colonic transit (Sitz-marks)Migrated intrauterine devices
Packages of illegal narcotics (“body packing”)Retained surgical materials (e.g., inadvertent clamp or surgical sponge; latter typically occurs in setting of incorrect sponge count)
Dislodged tubes from prior procedures (e.g., feeding tubes and biliary stents)Intentionally placed surgical materials (e.g., surgical sponge used to control bleeding in traumatic liver laceration—clinical history helps to distinguish from the inadvertent variety)
Ingested or inserted items (coins, batteries, and endoscopic capsules used for work-up of small bowel disease)
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