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Endoscopy. 1997 Aug;29(6):447-53.

The true yield of the small-intestinal barium study.

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  • 1Dept. of Radiology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom.


The barium examination of the small intestine is performed either as a follow-through procedure or enteroclysis (small-bowel enema). The comparative diagnostic yield of these techniques is difficult to assess, mainly because of the low incidence of disorders in the small intestine. The available evidence indicates that enteroclysis is superior to the follow-through for detecting and demonstrating morphological abnormalities in the intestine. This is because the barium suspension is introduced into the intestine directly through a tube, allowing much better intestinal distension than can be achieved with the follow-through.

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