Barium Swallow

Topics: Stomach, Gastroenterology, Digestion Pages: 3 (645 words) Published: November 21, 2010
Barium Swallow

A Barium swallow is a radiography contrast technique performed to visualize the esophageal portion of the Upper Gastrointestinal tract. Contrast Medium is taken orally and the lumen of the Esophagus is fluoroscopically visualized. Standard X-ray films are normally taken prior to administration of the contrast medium and these are useful in detecting perforation, presence of radiopaque foreign substances and gastric wall thickening. Oral contrast mediums, such as barium sulfate highlight conditions such as hiatal hernia, pyloric stenosis, gastric diverticulitis, and presence of undigested food, congenital anomalies or diseases of the stomach such as gastric Ulcer, Cancer, stomach polyps. As the person swallows the barium suspension, it coats the esophagus with a thin layer of barium. This enables the hollow structures to be imaged. Gastric radiography visualizes the form, position, mucosal folds, peristaltic activity, and motility of the stomach and upper GI tract. An upper GI series includes the esophagus, duodenum, and the upper portion of the jejunum.

Barium swallow can be performed for a number of reasons. These include: * To detect narrowing of irritation of the gastro intestinal tract. * Disorders of swallowing
* Hiatal Hernia (an internal defect which causes the stomach to slide partially into the chest) * Abnormally large veins in the esophagus that cause bleeding * Ulcers
* Tumors
* Polyps (growths that are usually not cancerous)
Some of the Interfering factors of barium swallow are if the patient is debilitated because proper examination may be difficult and it may be impossible to visualize the stomach adequately. Retained foods and fluids interfere with optimal film clarity. NORMAL FINDINGS

Normal stomach size, motility and peristaltic activity. Normal size and contour with concentric movement of the esophageal musculature. Unobstructed flow through the cardiac sphincter. Lumen free of...
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