Contraindications for a barium enema examination

Contraindications for a barium enema examination

  • • Known or suspected colonic perforation. If a perforation is suspected, CT or an enema using a water-soluble contrast agent should be used.
  • • Fulminant colitis (“toxic megacolon”) or any severe colitis.
  • • A recent procedure that has potentially created a hole in the colonic mucosa. A barium enema should be postponed for 1 week if a large forceps biopsy at rigid sigmoidoscopy, a snare polypectomy, or a hot biopsy has been performed. A biopsy specimen taken with small forceps via a flexible endoscope is not a contraindication.
  • • Also, the clinician should alert the radiologist if a patient has a latex allergy, so all products containing latex can be removed from the fluoroscopic suite, and the room can be cleaned before a procedure.
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