What is Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract Radiography?
Upper gastrointestinal tract radiography (GI) is an x-ray examination of the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum) that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and an orally ingested contrast material called barium.
Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. When the upper GI tract is coated with barium, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
An upper GI examination helps evaluate digestive function and to detect:
- Inflammation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum
- Hiatal hernias
- Abnormalities of the muscular wall of GI tissues
The procedure is also used to help diagnose symptoms such as:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest and abdominal pain
- Reflux (a backward flow of partially digested food and digestive juices)
- Unexplained vomiting
- Severe indigestion
- Blood in the stool (indicating internal GI bleeding)
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The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.