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What is a barium contrast exam?

What is a barium contrast exam?

A barium X-ray is a radiographic (X-ray) examination of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Barium X-rays (also called upper and lower GI series) are used to diagnose abnormalities of the GI tract, such as tumors, ulcers and other inflammatory conditions, polyps, hernias, and strictures.

What does a lower GI test for?

The lower GI test is used to examine the large intestine and the rectum. For this test, barium is introduced gradually into the colon through a tube inserted into the rectum. As the barium passes through the lower intestine, it provides an outline of the intestinal wall.

What’s the difference between colonoscopy and a barium enema?

A double-contrast barium enema is a type of X-ray that helps a doctor examine the colon. The barium helps create clear images of the colon. Doctors rarely use this method because it is less sensitive in detecting small polyps and tumors, compared with colonoscopy. However, it is an option for people at risk of colonoscopy complications.

How are upper GI tests used to diagnose stomach problems?

Upper GI tests use X-rays to examine the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine (the duodenum). For these tests, you need to drink a chalky liquid called barium. As the barium passes through the digestive tract, it fills and coats the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine making them more visible with X-ray.

When to use fluoroscopy or barium swallow test?

Barium is used only for imaging tests for the GI tract. A barium swallow test may be used by itself or as part of an upper GI series. This series looks at your esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). Fluoroscopy is often used during a barium swallow test. Fluoroscopy is a kind of X-ray “movie.”

How is an upper GI series / barium swallow performed?

An upper GI that focuses on the esophagus is also known as a barium swallow. Barium swallows and upper GI series are used to identify any abnormalities such as tumors, ulcers, hernias, pouches, strictures, and swallowing difficulties. How is an upper GI series/barium swallow performed?

How is a barium enema used in lower GI exam?

Lower gastrointestinal tract radiography or lower GI uses a form of real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy and a barium-based contrast material to help detect disease and abnormalities and diagnose symptoms such as pain, constipation or blood in the stool. It can often provide enough information to avoid more invasive procedures such as colonoscopy.

Upper GI tests use X-rays to examine the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine (the duodenum). For these tests, you need to drink a chalky liquid called barium. As the barium passes through the digestive tract, it fills and coats the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine making them more visible with X-ray.

How is the barium test used to diagnose digestive problems?

For this test, barium or an iodine-containing liquid is introduced gradually into the colon through a tube inserted into the rectum. As the barium passes through the lower intestines, it fills the colon, allowing the radiologist to see growths or polyps and areas that are narrowed.

What can you see with a fluoroscopy upper GI?

Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the upper GI tract is coated with barium, the radiologist can see the esophagus, stomach and duodenum and tell how well they’re working. An X-ray exam that evaluates only the pharynx and esophagus is called a barium swallow. An upper GI series can show: