X-ray is a visualization method that is most often used for diagnostic purposes. This is a non-invasive method for the detection of various pathologies. The visualization of organs is achieved by exposure to ionizing radiation, which results in a snapshot of the test area. Consider why barium is used for intestinal X-rays.
What does x-ray of the stomach and intestines with barium show?
This research method is used to display the esophagus, stomach and various parts of the small, duodenal, jejunum and ileum. It is carried out using a radiopaque agent - barium, which allows clearly visualizing hollow internal organs on a computer screen or x-ray.
This contrast agent is injected into the body shortly before X-ray. In certain circumstances, drugs are given to limit the mobility of the gastrointestinal tract during the study.
What does a stomach x-ray show with barium? With it you can select the following changes:
- stomach ulcer;
- narrowing of the lumen of the stomach due to chronic ulcers, benign and malignant tumors;
- changes in the position and peristalsis of the stomach;
- injuries of the esophagus, stomach;
- foreign bodies in the stomach.
What does barium X-ray show with intestines? As a result of radiography, the detection of such pathologies as:
- duodenal ulcer;
- narrowing of the lumen of the small intestine, for example, with an ulcer of a chronic nature and the presence of tumors;
- changes caused by chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease;
- diverticulum of the small intestine;
- pathological changes in the position and mobility of the small intestine;
- injuries of the small and large intestine;
- the presence of foreign bodies in the intestine;
- fistula of the rectum.
How is the diagnosis?
Before researching the gastrointestinal tract, it is necessary to drink a small amount of liquid barium. It envelops the walls of the esophagus and stomach. After some time, an effervescent powder is injected, which leads to the formation of gas in the esophagus, stomach and small intestine, as a result of which these objects become visible on the X-ray image. This is the so-called double contrast method.
Although barium and effervescent powders are completely non-toxic and well tolerated, they are not to everyone's taste. Therefore, barium is available with different flavors, such as chocolate or strawberry.
The doctor controls the examination of the viscera on the monitor and selects the best angle. During radiography, you will be repeatedly asked to change the position or hold your breath.
To achieve a high-quality image, a small, non-thick probe is used in x-rays of the small intestine with barium, which is inserted through the nose and advanced into the stomach, and then into the duodenum. Sometimes the procedure can be somewhat prolonged.
When the correct position of the probe has been reached, a contrast agent is first injected with the pump. After the mucous fluid, methylcellulose powder is added to expand the fluid. Thus, the contrast agent fills the intestine and a map of its walls can be clearly observed.
An enema is used to display the colon. But before that, a snapshot is taken to view the peritoneum in order to eliminate possible intestinal perforation. Then the patient is laid on its side and an anal contrast agent is injected. As the intestines are filled, the patient should change position for better distribution of contrast.
When filling the colon, a radiographic examination of the peritoneum is performed. Then the patient is sent to the toilet for emptying, then examine the relief of the mucous surface. In conclusion, air is injected into the intestine, which allows a detailed examination of it for the presence of polyps, diverticulum or tumors.
How to prepare for the procedure?
Depending on the substance, there are some guidelines that must be followed before introducing a contrast:
- When using iodine-containing contrast agents, the patient is determined before the procedure whether he is allergic to these substances. In some diseases of the thyroid gland, such as hyperthyroidism, the introduction of such contrast agents is prohibited.
- Neodated contrast agents provide better visualization of the walls of the stomach and small intestine. However, they cannot be used if there is a suspicion of perforation of the walls, since in such a case the penetration of a contrast agent into the abdominal cavity can lead to peritonitis.
Before research it is necessary to exclude the use of alcohol and influence of nicotine. At least 12 hours before the procedure, nothing can be eaten. It is recommended to take a mild laxative to clear the intestines from food debris that distort the result. Before X-rays of the colon in the morning, you can drink ½ cup of unsweetened tea or water. The study is conducted as a rule early in the morning.
Possible complications and contraindications
The method itself is absolutely painless for the patient, but sometimes the following complications can occur:
- diarrhea triggered by a contrast agent;
- allergic reactions after consuming x-ray contrast, but this is extremely rare.
Contraindicated X-ray gastrointestinal tract using contrast in such cases as:
- the presence of glaucoma;
- recent cases of intestinal surgery or other intervention;
- children under 18 require parental or guardian consent.
X-ray examination of the digestive tract with contrast agents is carried out in medical centers and diagnostic clinics. As you could see, such a procedure has practically no contraindications and serious complications. The radiation dose is monitored by a radiologist and has a meager level that is completely safe for health.