X-ray of the stomach - in which case is assigned and how to prepare for the examination?

Diseases of the digestive tract suffer many people. Meanwhile, the diagnosis of such diseases is difficult. Symptomatology and a variety of tests do not guarantee a correct diagnosis. But modern medicine has new effective methods of examination. One of them will be discussed in our article.

What is gastric fluoroscopy?

This is one of the most modern diagnostic methods, allowing time to detect serious violations in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.

This procedure is performed with the obligatory introduction of a contrast agent, barium sulfate, into the stomach cavity. After that, the image of the examined organ is displayed on a special screen, and the doctor gets the opportunity to observe him during real time.

At the same time, a series of shots is performed in which certain moments of passage of the contrast agent through the patient’s gastrointestinal tract are recorded. Subsequently, the data snapshots are analyzed and on the basis of this analysis is issued a conclusion.

The average time for fluoroscopy varies from 20 to 40 minutes. Evaluation of the patient can give the result on the same day. This method of examination involves the use of X-rays. The dose of radiation during fluoroscopy of the stomach is negligible.

roentgenoscopy of the stomach

Why use barium?

The stomach is a hollow organ, so getting a fairly clear image of its inner surface is very difficult. A special contrasting substance, getting into the cavity of the body, fills all the folds of the mucous membrane and gives doctors the opportunity to give an objective assessment: what is the state of the relief and structure of the stomach.

During fluoroscopy, the dynamics of movement of barium sulfate is estimated starting from the esophagus and then along the stomach and duodenum.

How does fluoroscopy differ from x-rays?

Patients are often interestedhow gastric fluoroscopy differs from conventional radiography. The fact is that during the x-ray the doctor receives only a single single-shot snapshot of the organ. Often this is not enough to correctly assess the state of internal tissues and structures, which can lead to a false diagnosis.

Roentgenoscopy allows specialists to observe how the state of the organ changes as barium moves down the gastrointestinal tract, and then analyze all stages of the process according to a series of images taken during the procedure.

X-ray examination allows not only to give the most objective assessment of the structure of the test organ, but also to observe its elasticity, maneuverability, and occupancy. This is a multi-projection diagnosis - the patient is rotated during the procedure from different angles, unlike x-rays, in which a picture is usually taken only in one projection.

gastric fluoroscopy preparation

Can this type of survey cause harm? The disadvantages of fluoroscopy

As such, this diagnostic method has no disadvantages. Conventionally, it is possible to consider the disadvantage of a stronger radiation dose obtained by fluoroscopy, compared to x-rays.

This is due to the fact that the procedure is carried out for a longer time than an x-ray. Still, the amount of exposure is small and can not in any way affect the patient's health. This is largely due to the equipment of the new generation. Even when repeated roentgenoscopy of the stomach is prescribed, there is no reason to worry.

Some people fear the effects of contrast. But the only trouble barium can cause is an allergic reaction. Fortunately, this happens very rarely. If the patient is prone to allergies, then he should inform the doctor. Before preparing the patient for fluoroscopy of the stomach, he can be tested for sensitivity to barium sulfate.

It should also be understood that fluoroscopy is always preceded by an examination, during which the doctor must familiarize himself with the individual characteristics of his patient and check whether there are any contraindications to the procedure.

roentgenoscopy of the stomach and intestines

Indications for X-ray examination of the digestive tract organs

An X-ray of the stomach can be prescribed if a patient has symptoms indicating serious pathological changes in the gastrointestinal system. It:

  • the presence of blood in the stool;
  • recurrent nausea and vomiting;
  • frequent painful heartburn;
  • regular constipation or diarrhea;
  • belching;
  • anemia (anemia) of suspicious origin;
  • rapid weight loss;
  • signs of obstruction in the stomach, esophagus or intestines.

An X-ray of the stomach and duodenum may also be needed if the following diseases and conditions are already diagnosed:

  • malignant neoplasms and benign tumors;
  • pyloric stenosis (damage to the pylorus of the stomach);
  • achalasia of the esophagus;
  • stomach ulcer, etc.

In these cases, the method of fluoroscopy helps doctors to follow the dynamics of the course of the disease, to assess the effectiveness of the therapeutic or surgical treatment. Another indication for the purpose of the procedure is heredity with a predisposition to neoplasms, as well as if the patient had a precancerous disease.

roentgenoscopy of the stomach and duodenum

X-ray of the stomach: preparation

How to prepare for the survey? The procedure of fluoroscopy is always carried out in the morning, on an empty stomach. Therefore, the last meal and liquid should be 9-10 hours before the start of diagnosis.This time may be more, but less - no! Violation of this rule may lead to incorrect data during fluoroscopy of the stomach. Preparation for the survey must be supplemented by the following steps:

  1. Three days before the procedure, you need to follow an uncomplicated diet: do not eat foods that cause intestinal swelling (black bread, peas, beans, beans, lentils, cabbage in any form, fruits, sweets). You can not drink sweet soda. From eating vegetables is also best to abstain. It is permissible to eat the following products: low-fat boiled meat (beef, chicken), low-fat boiled fish, cereal porridge (cook only on water), eggs, white bread (in the form of dried crackers).
  2. Before going to bed on the eve of the examination, it is recommended to clean the intestines using an enema.
  3. Before the procedure, the nurse will ask to remove the jewelry. If there are removable dentures in the mouth, they are also best removed.

Now the preparation of the patient for fluoroscopy of the stomach can be considered complete, it is time to start the examination procedure itself.

preparing the patient for fluoroscopy of the stomach

Order of conduct

At the first stage, preliminary shots are taken without the use of a contrasting substance. At this time, the patient is standing.Such a preliminary x-ray is needed to identify gross pathologies in the gastrointestinal tract, if any.

Then the patient sits down, and he is given to drink an aqueous solution of barium. This liquid mixture is quite thick consistency. It is similar in color and taste to a solution of ordinary chalk. Barium sulphate is absolutely harmless to the body. It is easily excreted from the body, since the stomach and intestines do not absorb it.

The contrast agent is drunk gradually as the procedure progresses. First, the patient takes a couple of sips, after which the doctor examines the condition of the esophagus. It occurs in a standing position.

Then the remaining contrast fluid is drunk, then the patient is placed on the table and a fluoroscopy of the stomach is performed. In order to better distribute barium, the doctor, in the intervals between the images, presses the patient on the stomach.

The total duration of the procedure is 40 minutes. At this time, the patient is invited to take different positions: lying on your side or on your back. His body is fixed on the table. A snapshot taken in the Trendelenburg position is required (the pelvis is raised at an angle of 45 degrees and breathing is delayed).

If there is a need for examination of the lower intestines, the procedure is interrupted for a while, and then resumed again. In this case, a series of shots are taken during the day with interruptions.

Upon completion of the diagnostic session, the patient is invited to drink about 2 liters of water so that barium is quickly released from the body.

If the patient exactly followed all the recommendations and the procedure was successful, then after its termination no complications arise. The patient may be disturbed by slight indigestion and staining of the stool in gray or white. It does not need to be scared, such phenomena arise because of barium sulfate, they will soon pass.

Features of the diagnosis in children

In the case of examining a small patient, a contrast agent is delivered to the body with a small enema. Due to the fact that children do not tolerate such loads very well, the procedure is divided into several sessions. In the breaks in any case it is impossible to feed the child with hot liquids.

Data analysis

The results are analyzed by a gastroenterologist and radiologist.In some difficult cases, the competent opinion of the surgeon is also required.

Based on information about the dynamics of passage of the coloring reagent through the esophagus, experts conclude whether there is a violation of motility. The captured radiograph allows to assess the condition of the mucous layer of the stomach. The following is also checked:

  • The presence of perforations in the walls of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum.
  • Is there a onset of peptic ulcer?
  • The presence of changes in the correct position of the organs due to surgery, tissue proliferation, etc.
  • Is there a narrowing of the lumen in the esophagus.
  • What is the nature of the mucosal folds in patients with gastritis.
  • Is there an overgrowth of polyps, growths or the presence in the gastrointestinal tract of any foreign bodies.

when repeated roentgenoscopy of the stomach is prescribed

Where can I get a x-ray of the stomach?

An x-ray of the esophagus and the stomach is not a difficult or expensive procedure. This type of examination today is possible to pass in any large settlement.

If a person is experiencing significant problems with the gastrointestinal tract, he can first make an appointment with the local doctor in the clinic, to which is assigned to the place of residence.The district doctor will give a referral to a specialist-gastroenterologist, who has already determined exactly the measure of the need for x-ray examination with barium.

For those who want to do everything as quickly as possible, there are commercial medical centers where you do not need to stand in line for a long time. But a preliminary examination by a gastroenterologist will have to go through there. Without a doctor's referral, fluoroscopy is impossible.

radiation dose during gastric fluoroscopy


For conducting fluoroscopy of the stomach with barium, there are contraindications. Here is a list of the main ones:

  • pregnancy;
  • prolonged bleeding in the digestive tract;
  • contrast agent allergy;
  • acute pain of unknown nature in the lumbar or intestinal region.


X-ray helps to solve important issues. This has a direct connection with the rapid establishment of the diagnosis and the appointment of subsequent treatment. Do not be afraid of exposure to X-rays, they are not dangerous, in contrast to the underlying disease.

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