What is the role of imaging in the diagnosis of esophagitis?

Updated: May 28, 2020
  • Author: Deepika Devuni, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Routine radiography is not indicated unless complications are suspected. Considerations for the use of diagnostic procedures include the following:

  • Double-contrast esophageal barium studies are recommended as the initial imaging study for dysphagia, though a case can be made for an initial upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy [EGD])
  • Barium studies are not recommended for patients with absolute dysphagia or odynophagia; upper GI endoscopy is recommended under these circumstances
  • Barium studies and upper GI endoscopy are complementary rather than competing
  • Diagnosis of metastatic cancer is best made by means of barium contrast radiography and computed tomography (CT)

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