Posts tagged ‘UGI’

July 9, 2014

Barium: Great for Imaging, and Okay for Puns

Bariumsulfaat by Dr.T via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedImaging of the gastrointestinal system can be done many ways, using scopes, fluoroscopy/x-rays, ultrasound, CT and MRI studies. The gastrointestinal (GI) system includes everything from the mouth or oral cavity and esophagus down to the rectum and anus. The GI tract can be thought of as one long hollow tube, and filling the tube with fluid to image it with xrays was one of the earliest techniques developed when radiology was in its infancy.

 

This technique is still used today with barium sulfate the most commonly used contrast agent. Barium blocks the xrays from travelling through the body resulting in a white appearance on the image. Since its first development, many different forms of barium are now available allowing us to see different parts of the GI tract in detail.

 

Barium studies include UGIs (upper gastrointestinal exam to evaluate the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small bowel), esophagrams (to image the esophagus), small bowel series (to image the small intestine) and barium enemas (to evaluate the colon or large intestine). Barium or other oral contrast agents may be used for CT examinations of the abdomen and pelvis, allowing better visualization of the GI tract. Over the next few posts we’ll be covering these imaging tests in detail.

 

Barium has been used for years and is inert, traveling through your system without being absorbed. It is well tolerated in almost all patients. After a study using barium, patients are advised to drink extra fluids in order to flush the barium out of their system.

 

Oh, and we promised a groaner of a pun too. What do you do with a chemist who has passed on? Barium!

(Image credit: Bariumsulfaat by Dr.T via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)

 

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health atwww.mammographykc.com and general radiology atwww.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

February 20, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Radiologist

LH at station

Let’s take a post to introduce ourselves. This will not be an introduction of us individually but rather a collective introduction. We are radiologists. We are medical doctors with 5 years of specialty training in radiology after medical school. That’s where we could have finished, but many of us did additional subspecialty training in different aspects of radiology like neuroradiology, ultrasound, body imaging, musculoskeletal imaging or breast imaging. So clearly we love schooling, training and practicing in radiology.

It is an exciting field where we have the pleasure and privilege of ‘looking inside’ our patients every day. This is how we take care of you. We carefully and thoughtfully examine imaging studies including CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, X-rays, mammography and fluoroscopy. In radiology we scrutinize images for both normal and abnormal findings in an attempt to detect causes for patients’ symptoms. Our interpretations help the referring doctor or clinician to care for patients. Often, imaging is the key to a diagnosis, from appendicitis to Zenker’s diverticulum.

In addition to looking at images, we perform procedures that are based on imaging – some of these for diagnosis, like barium examinations of the gastrointestinal tract, and many for therapy, like drainage of fluid collections or dilating arteries. Here, we get hands on time with our patients, helping to find problems and to provide solutions.

Admittedly we spend a fair share of time “behind the curtain” in a darkened reading room where images are shared via computer for interpretation. Rest assured we are never bored. Time flies between image interpretations, dictating cases, sharing information with our referring doctors and performing exams such as fluoroscopy or other procedures. Complex cases are the norm, and often require consultation between us as radiologists and your referring doctor. We have a key role in consulting with doctors and patients in ensuring the appropriate imaging study is done in the appropriate manner.

Your radiology test may not involve direct interaction with your radiologist – you will not see us every time. But we will be there, focused on your images to help keep you in your best health.
We love what we do – that’s why we’re here.