GI Radiology > Esophagus > Upper G.I.

Upper G.I. Tract Biphasic-Contrast Exam (cont.)


  1. Spot-film technique: Phototimed 90 kVp is used for all double-contrast filming; use 125 kVp for all single-contrast filming.

  2. A biphasic-contrast exam should be attempted on all patients. If it turns out that the patient is uncooperative or too debilitated, the study can be completed as a single-contrast exam by skipping the double-contrast part of the study. 

  3. Question the patient about: 
    1. relevant symptoms
    2. previous abdominal surgery
    3. having been NPO since midnight
    4. the possibility of pregnancy 

  4. Explain the procedure to the patient. Describe how to perform breath-holding during spot filming (e.g. “Don’t take in a breath; just stop breathing”). Caution the patient not to belch after drinking the “bubbly barium”.

  5. If the patient is to have both a cervical/esophageal barium swallow (BS) and UGI, start with the UGI and do the examination of the hypopharynx and cervical esophagus at the end of the study.

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