ISSN 2398-2950      

Radiography: barium series

ffelis
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Introduction

  • Administration of positive contrast agent to provide information about the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract and to give crude assessment of gastrointestinal transit time.
  • Visualization of mucosal surfaces of gastrointestinal tract.
  • Allows assessment of gastrointestinal wall thickness.

Uses

  • Identification of position of gastrointestinal tract if not visible on plain radiographs, eg in suspect diaphragmatic hernia Diaphragm: hernia , ascites.
  • Allows some assessment of gastrointestinal transit time.
  • Identification of radiolucent gastrointestinal foreign bodies Intestine: foreign body - linear .
  • Investigation of vomiting Vomiting .
  • Investigation of abdominal mass Abdominal organomegaly .
  • Investigation of abdominal pain.
  • Investigation of melena.
  • Investigation of weight loss.

Advantages

  • Simple.
  • Relatively non-invasive.

Disadvantages

  • Time-consuming and moderately expensive (cost may be comparable to exploratory laparotomy).
  • May give minimal information if total gastrointestinal obstruction as barium may not reach the site of obstruction.
  • Often normal in cases of chronic diarrhea.
  • Does not provide information about large intestine (a barium enema Radiography: large intestine contrast or pneumocolon is required).

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Herrtage M E & Dennis R (1987) Contrast media and their use in small animal radiology. JSAP 28 (12), 1105-1114 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Gomez J A (1974) The gastrointestinal contrast study - methods and interpretation. Vet Clin North Am 4, 805-842.

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