Barium enema
: A series of x-rays of the lower intestine (colon) and rectum that are taken after the patient is given an enema with a white, chalky solution that contains barium. The barium outlines the intestines on the x-rays. These x-rays permit the detection of colon and rectal abnormalities including diverticulosis, diverticulitis, abnormal colon movement, dilation (widening) of the colon, polyps and cancers of the colon and rectum. Air can be instilled into the colon along with the barium contrast medium to further define structures of the large bowel and rectum. Polyps and small cancers are more readily found using this method which is called an air contrast barium enema or a double-contrast barium enema. This is the only kind of barium enema that is appropriate for detecting colorectal polyps and potentially curable colorectal cancers. The barium enema was for years the only way to do a complete examination of the colon shy of surgery, but with the advent of fiberoptic technology and the widespread use of colonoscopy, the role of the barium enema has declined. Although the barium enema is clearly better than colonoscopy in regard to safety and cost, colonoscopy in recent year has been replacing barium enemas.

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barium enema n a suspension of barium sulfate injected into the lower bowel to render it radiopaque, usu. followed by injection of air to inflate the bowel and increase definition, and used in the radiographic diagnosis of intestinal lesions

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a technique for examination of the large bowel. A tube is inserted into the rectum through the anus, and barium sulphate is run into the bowel to the caecum. For double contrast, gas is then pumped through the tube to distend the colon. A series of radiographs is then taken, usually on a tilting table with the patient lying and standing. Barium enema is used mainly to identify cancers, polyps, and diverticular disease and to see the extent of mucosal damage in inflammatory bowel disease. Its role has been partially taken over by endoscopy.

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a suspension of barium injected into the intestine as a contrast medium for radiological examination. Called also contrast e.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • barium enema — a technique for examination of the large bowel. A tube is inserted into the rectum through the anus, and barium sulphate is run into the bowel to the caecum. For double contrast, gas is then pumped through the tube to distend the colon. A series… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • barium enema — noun enema in which a contrast medium (usually barium sulfate) is injected into the rectum and X rays are taken to search for lesions • Hypernyms: ↑enema, ↑clyster * * * noun : a suspension of barium sulfate injected into the lower bowel to… …   Useful english dictionary

  • barium enema — A procedure in which a liquid with barium in it is put into the rectum and colon by way of the anus. Barium is a silver white metallic compound that helps to show the image of the lower gastrointestinal tract on an x ray …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • barium enema — /bɛəriəm ˈɛnəmə/ (say bairreeuhm enuhmuh) noun a preparation of barium sulphate ingested before a radiological examination to show up any abnormality in the colon or rectum …   Australian English dictionary

  • barium enema — Med. See under GI series. [1925 30] * * * …   Universalium

  • Double-contrast barium enema — A double contrast barium enema is a procedure in which x rays of the colon and rectum are taken after a liquid containing barium is put into the rectum. Barium is a silver white metallic compound that outlines the colon and rectum on an x ray and …   Wikipedia

  • double-contrast barium enema — A procedure in which x rays of the colon and rectum are taken after a liquid containing barium is put into the rectum. Barium is a silver white metallic compound that outlines the colon and rectum on an x ray and helps show abnormalities. Air is… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • Barium swallow — Diagnostics ICD 9 CM 87.61 …   Wikipedia

  • Barium — (pronEng|ˈbɛəriəm) is a chemical element. It has the symbol Ba, and atomic number 56. Barium is a soft silvery metallic alkaline earth metal. It is never found in nature in its pure form due to its reactivity with air. Its oxide is historically… …   Wikipedia

  • Enema — Not to be confused with Edema. This rectal bulb syringe may be used to administer smaller enemas …   Wikipedia

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