GI Radiology > Small Bowel > Imaging Modalities > Enteroclysis

Enteroclysis: The Small Bowel Enema (cont.)

Contrast Materials

At least three different types of enteroclysis examination have been described:
  1. the single-contrast method with a barium suspension alone,

  2. the double-contrast method using an infusion of air, water, or methyl cellulose following the barium infusion,

  3. the biphasic method which combines the single- and the double-contrast procedures.

We use single-contrast enteroclysis. The right barium mixture for each study will vary with the thickness of the patient's abdomen. The appropriate barium suspension can be determined from the following table:

Barium Mixture for Single-Contrast Enteroclysis
Abdominal Thickness (cm in prone position) Barium (HD 85, Lafayette Phamacal) H2O (Cold Tap Water) w/v %   Specific
Child (11 or less) 1 (150 ml) 2-1/2 (375 ml) 24% 1.2
Thin adult (15-19) 1 (240 ml) 2 (480 ml) 28% 1.23
Normal adult (20-24) 1 (300 ml) 1-1/2 (450 ml) 34% 1.27
Obese adult (25+) 1 (360 ml) 1 (360 ml) 42% 1.32

(Modified from Miller RE, Sellink JL: Enteroclysis: The small bowel enema–how to succeed and how to fail. Gastrointest Radiol 1979;4:269)


A slightly less satisfactory but universal barium suspension can be quickly prepared by filling a barium enema bag containing 12 ounces (340 grams) of Sol-O-Pake (E-Z Em Co.), with tap water up to the 1000 ml mark. This makes a 34% W/V barium solution.


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