Emergency Body CT > Technique > Oral Contrast

Oral Contrast

Several agents and regimens can be used depending on the clinical question and circumstances. The agents in the table below are agents used at our institution





a thick Barium sulfate suspension (3.0% w/w)

opacify the esophagus


a water soluble agent, 9 cc is diluted in 350 cc water and then administered to the patient in three doses (can also be used for an enema)

opacifies the entire GI tract


a barium sulfate suspension (1.2% w/w), also usually given in three doses

for patients allergic to Iodine to opacify the GI tract

Typically, three doses of Omnipaque are given at one hour, 30 minutes and immediately prior to the exam. If the need is urgent for a trauma study, giving one dose in the ED and one at the table can accelerate the protocol. This will greatly aid in the diagnosis of bowel injury especially in the duodenum.


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