Barium Swallow (Gastrografin)
The contrast swallow uses barium, or less commonly gastrografin, to examine the structure and function of the oesophagus. The patient ingests the contrast material and with the use of fluoroscopy, the radiologist monitors the passage of the contrast material down the oesophagus.
A series of x-ray images are taken while the patient swallows the contrast.
At the conclusion of the examination, a mild purgative is administered to facilitate the passage of the barium and the patient is encouraged to drink plenty of fluid.