What is the role of barium enema testing in the evaluation of lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (LGIB)?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Do not use barium enema examination in the acute hemorrhage phase, because it makes subsequent diagnostic evaluations, including angiography and colonoscopy, impossible. Double-contrast barium enema examinations can be justified only for elective evaluation of previous unexplained LGIB.

Elective contrast radiography of the small bowel and/or enteroclysis is often valuable in investigation of long-term, unexplained LGIB (see Small Bowel Visualization).

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