Double contrast barium enema (overview)

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The double contrast barium enema is rapidly being replaced by CT colonography, but remains in some centers for:

The barium enema procedure is contraindicated in certain conditions:

Single contrast barium enema is not suitable in these situations because it is less sensitive at detecting small polyps and early changes of inflammatory bowel disease.

The 'double contrast' refers to the use of positive and negative contrast agents to increase the sensitivity of the examination.

The double contrast study is sensitive to visualize mucosal irregularities.

  • positive contrast: barium or barium-like agent, e.g. Gastrografin ®
  • negative contrast: air or CO2

See also

Article information

rID: 6470
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Double contrast barium enema
  • Double contrast barium enema (DCBE)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: diverticular disease
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  • Case 2: lead pipe bowel
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  • Case 4: rectal carcinoma
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  • Case 5: sigmoid apple core tumor
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  • Case 6: malignant rectal polyp
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