Radiological Case

Too Much to Swallow: Imaging to Detect Contraband in the Gastrointestinal Tract

Nadia Solomon, MSc, MA; Sandeep Singh Tuli, DO


Appl Radiol. 2020;49(3):44-46. 

In This Article

Case Summary

A 21-year-old was brought to the emergency department in police custody with stable vital signs and no complaints. They demonstrated guaiac-positive stool and a palpable object on rectal examination. Two days prior, they arrived in the United States from another country, where they report ingesting 100 bags of cocaine. From time of custody to hospital visit, the patient passed 87 bags. Poison control recommended performing CT of the abdomen/pelvis. An additional 3 bags passed in the hospital prior to imaging. Subsequent to imaging, enemas were administered, facilitating uncomplicated passage of the remaining 10 bags.