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Rofo. 2004 Nov;176(11):1617-23.

[Is the renal excretion of orally applied diatrizoate (Gastrografin) a reliable marker of gastrointestinal perforation or dehiscence of a gastrointestinal anastomosis?].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Radiologische Universitätsklinik Bonn.



Renal excretion of orally or rectally applied Gastrografin is reported to be a reliable indicator of a perforation or a postoperative anastomotic dehiscence of the GI-tract. The study was conducted to determine whether increased attenuation of the urine measured by CT after oral or rectal application of Gastrografin can give reliable evidence of any leakage from the gastrointestinal tract.


Urine samples of 33 patients, who underwent a Gastrografin-enhanced fluoroscopic examination of the esophagus or the GI-tract for different clinical reasons, were examined by CT. The samples had been taken immediately before and 60 to 90 minutes after application of 100 ml Gastrografin. The results were compared with those of 5 healthy volunteers, who took urine samples before, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after drinking 100 ml of Gastrografin.


Maximal attenuation of the volunteers' urine samples was achieved 60 to 90 minutes after Gastrografin application with a mean of 50 Hounsfield units (HU), SD = 17 HU. The urine of three patients with radiologically proven fistula or dehiscence of a GI-tract anastomosis had no relevant increase in attenuation. Three other cases without any clinical or radiological evidence of an anastomotic leak had a substantial increase in the attenuation of the urine probes (87, 110, and 290 HU, respectively).


The CT-measured urine samples as evidence of renal excretion of orally or rectally applied Gastrografin are not reliable for the detection of leaks from the GI-tract.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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