• Barium Procedures are Group of diagnostic tests
used to detect abnormalities of the Gastro-
Intestinal Tract using
• Radio-opaque contrast used: Barium Sulphate
It coats lining of the digestive tract, allowing
accurate X-ray imaging of the part to be examined.
3. • Barium swallow is the non invasive contrast procedure used in
assessing the anatomy, physiology & pathology of upper GI
tract including esophagus & GE junction.
• Barium has superior contrast qualities and unless there are specific
contraindications, its use (rather than water-soluble agents) is
Barium provides a roadmap of GI tract pathologies in the form x-ray
examination of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, small intestine
& large intestine.
5. Common Barium Procedures
1. Barium swallow - Pharynx to Fundus of the Stomach
2. Barium meal - Oesophagus to proximal jejunum
3. Barium meal follow through
4. Small bowel enema/Enteroclysis -
5. Barium Enema – Colon
6. • Barium Sulphate is mixed with water and is
• Following this a series of X-rays are taken.
11. BARIUM SULPHATE - 250% OF HIGH DENSITY LOW VISCOSITY
• the most common material for radiographic visualisation of GIT.
• made up from pure barium sulphate.
• For stability particles are small (0.1 -3 micron)
• A non-ionic suspension medium is used to avoid clumping.
• Ph is 5.3 , which makes it stable in gastric acid.
12. WHY DO WE USE BARIUM SULPHATE?
Caracteristic of barium:-
The reason for using Barium sulphate for GI studies are :
1. Ba has a high atomic number 56. Therefore, it is highly radioopaque and
produces excellent bowel opacification.
2. Non absorbable (Therefore does not degrade throughout the bowel
3. Insoluble in water/lipid.
4. Inert to tissues.
5. Suitable for double contrast studies as it coats the mucosa in a thin layer, thus
allowing the introduction of 2nd or negative contrast agent without significant
13. ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF BARIUM
• Not absorbed or degraded by the
• coat the mucosa in a
thin layer for long period of
time, thus allowing the
introduction of a second or
negative contrast agent
• Low cost
Leakage into mediastinum
or peritoneum can cause
Subsequent abdominal CT or
US are rendered difficult.
Intravasation – this may
in a barium pulmonary
embolus, which carries a
14. • (a) Ba has a high atomic number
56. Therefore, it is
• (b) Non absorbable, non-toxic.
• (c) Insoluble in water/lipid.
• ( d) Inert to tissues.
• (e) Can be used for double
PROPERTIES OF AN IDEAL
1.High density for optimum study
2.Stable suspension which does not
3.Should not flocculate
4.Low melting characteristics
to give a good and stable
The oesophagus begins at the upper oesophageal sphincter at the level of
C6 and finishes at lower oesophageal sphincter at T11 and is approx 25 cm.
26. What you should
expect in Barium
• No special preparations are required.
• Study of the larynx, pharynx, and esophagus.
• A thick barium mixture(350-450 mL ) is
swallowed in supine position.
• Fluoroscopic images of the swallowing process
• The procedure is repeated several times with
the examination table tilted at various angles.
• Normally, 90% of ingested fluid should
have passed into the stomach after 15
2. Heart burn, retrosternal pain, regurgitation & odynophagia
3. Hiatus hernia
4. Reflux oesophagitis
5. Stricture formation
6. Esophageal carcinoma
7. Motility disorder like – Achalasia , diffuse esophageal spasms
8. Pressure or invasion from extrinsic lesions
9. Assessment of abnormality of
1. Pharyngo esophageal junction including zenkers diverticulum
2. Cricoid webs
3. Cricopharyngeal Achalasia.
1. Barium should NOT be used initially if perforation is suspected.
If perforation is not identifed with a water-soluble contrast agent
then a barium examination should be considered.
2. Tracheo-esophageal fistula
31. Patient preparation
1. NPO for 6 hours prior to the examination.
2. Smoking should be avoided on the day of examination.
3. Muscle relaxants before the procedure
4 Ensure that no contra indication to the contrast
5 Check pregnancy status for female of child
6 Procedure should be explained to the patient
7. Going the procedure and the duration the exam
8.Any other medical history needed.
34. Single vs double contrast:-
Only barium is given. 60-100%
Tooutline the structures, lumen
and large abnormalities.
Barium with gas producing agent
is given. 200-250% w/v
For detail viewing of the mucosal
pattern, making it easier to see
narrowed areas (strictures),
diverticula or inflammation.
35. Patient positioning for a single-contrast esophagram
Place the patient in the right anterior oblique (RAO)
position to offset the esophagus from the spine. The patient’s
right arm is placed alongside the body, with the left knee
PA oblique esophagus, RAO position (the
midsagittal position forms an angle of 35°-
45° from the grid device).
36. The Radiographer should place the
cup barium in the patient’s left hand,
with the straw between the patient’s
Patients who are unable to tolerate
this position may be imaged in the left
posterior oblique (LPO) position.
Position the fluoroscope so that the apex
of the left lung appears at the top of the
The technologist will ask the patient to
continuously drink the barium. This fills and
distends the esophagus while the technologist
obtains images of the proximal esophagus,
midesophagus, and the distal esophagus,
including an open lower esophageal sphincter
(magnified if possible).
Single-contrast study of esophagus in RAO
position with table top in head-down -20°
38. Critique Criteria:
Right Anterior Oblique,Lateral Oblique's
The RAO should demonstrate the entire barium
Like the RAO stomach , which is the single best projection,
the Right anterior oblique is also best for the esophagus.
The heart provides a homogeneous back ground to contrast
it Against and the distal esophagus traversing the
Hiatus is laid out in profile.
44. Xray views
Place pt in lateral position.
Center midcoronal plane to cassette.
Bottom of cassette below xiphoid process.
Pt must drink continuously before and
46. Xray views
AP or PA Projection:-
Pt. supine or prone
Center midsagittal plane to cassette
Bottom of cassette should be placed just
below tip of xiphoid
Pt. drinks contrast before exposure and
continues drinking during exposure.
47. Xray views
RAO or LAO Positions:-
Tothrow the esophagus clear of the spine.
Pt should be rotated 35 - 40 degrees
Center about 2 inches lateral to MSP
Bottom of cassette below xiphoid.
They appear inside the oesophagus and
occasionally they occur in the stomach. Varices
develop when most of the normal liver tissue has
been replaced by scar tissue. Because the scar
tissue pushes upon the veins in the liver, blood
cannot flow normally through the veins.
62. What is the radiographicappearance ?
• There are multiple submucosal filling defects in
a barium filled esophagus in AP view.
65. What is the radiographic appearance
• Dilated smooth outlined barium filled
esophagus with narrow tapering lower end of
the esophagus with smooth outline and
absence of fundal gas in stomach. .
( Rat Tail or Bird Beak Deformity)