Gastroenterologists often order radiographic tests to help diagnose diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Common complaints that may lead to such testing include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stool, bloating, weight loss, and abnormal laboratory tests.
Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to obtain real-time moving images of the internal structures of a patient through the use of a fluoroscope allowing the images to be recorded and played on a monitor.
Barium Sulfate is commonly used to allow for better visualization of gastrointestinal organs. Barium sulfate is a harmless chalky, water-insoluble compound that does not permit x-rays to pass through it. Taken before or during an examination, it causes the intestinal tract to stand out in silhouette when viewed through a fluoroscope or seen on an x-ray film. It is important to evacuate the barium completely following the study; a mild laxative is usually prescribed for this purpose.
Gastrointestinal studies include: