X-ray of a normal
esophagus taken as part of the Upper GI Series. Note how the barium, seen
in the image as white, visualizes the esophagus.
An x-ray of a
normal stomach seen through a fluoroscope.
|What is GI Radiology?
There are two types of studies that are
often used to visualize the gastrointestinal system: the Upper GI
series and the barium enema.
Upper GI Series
The Upper GI series is an x-ray examination
of the upper intestinal tract. It visualizes the stomach, esophagus, and
small intestine. The procedure may be different for each patient.
On the evening prior to the day of testing,
you will need to consume only clear liquid for your evening meal. You may
not eat anything after dinner. You may also be given a laxative. You will
not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before
Before the exam, you will drink a barium
solution. The radiologist will watch on a fluoroscope as the barium solution
passes through the upper gastrointestinal system. Following the fluoroscopy,
there will be a series of x-rays taken of your stomach.
Special instructions for these tests include:
Upper GI Series/Small Bowel Series (Stomach):
Clear liquid diet on the day prior to examination (no milk products). Drink
two ounces of Milk of Magnesia at 2 p.m. the day before the exam. Nothing
by mouth after midnight the day of the exam.
Enteroclysis or Small Bowel Enema: At 3 p.m.
the day prior to the examination take two ounces Milk of Magnesia or four
Dulcolax tablets. For lunch and dinner, eat a low residue diet, such as
clear soup, beef, or chicken broth. Drink lots of fluids, e.g. eight ounces
of water or fruit juice every hour beginning at 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. on
the evening before the exam. Nothing by mouth after 6 a.m. the day of the
The barium enema is an x-ray study of the
large intestine. A barium solution, which appears white on an x-ray, is
given as an enema. This makes the colon visible on an x-ray.
Start a clear liquid diet at noon the day
before your barium enema or air contrast barium enema is scheduled. You
may have broth, tea, ginger ale, fruit juice, sherbet, jello, coffee with
sugar, but no cream. After the noon meal, take four Dulcolax tablets. Drink
eight ounces of water each hour beginning at 1 p.m. until 10 or 11 p.m.
Drink one bottle of Magnesium Citrate at 8 p.m. Nothing by mouth after
You will be given a fleet enema early the
next morning. The barium enema will then be given as the radiologist uses
a fluoroscope to watch the barium pass into your intestine.
Following the x-ray, you may have food
and fluid, if no additional testing is scheduled.
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