GI Radiology > Small Bowel > Imaging Modalities > Enteroclysis

Enteroclysis: The Small Bowel Enema (cont.)

Administration of the Contrast Material

  • The barium suspension can be administered by hand from a syringe or by gravity flow from an enema bag. However, maximum success of the procedure is gained by having a constant flow rate of the contrast medium. This can be achieved with the use of either a hand pump (Jack Rabbit Pump, Black & Decker) or, better, with an electric hemodialysis pump with digital readout of flow rates (MiniPump, Renal Systems, Minneapolis, MN).
  • A flow rate of 75 ml/min seems ideal for most examinations, and small bowel transit will be accomplished in 5 - 10 minutes. A slower flow rate may lead to incomplete filling of bowel loops, and a faster rate frequently causes excessive distention of the bowel which leads to bowel paralysis and prolonged transit times. Reflux into the stomach is associated with a considerably prolonged study. To avoid small bowel over distension, ileus, and gastric reflux at the beginning of the study, we start with an infusion rate of 50 ml/min and gradually increase the rate towards 75 ml/min. If duodeno-gastric reflux or decreased small bowel peristalsis is seen, the infusion rate is adjusted downward until these signs disappear.

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