Double-contrast barium enema

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Human intestinal tract, as imaged via double-contrast barium enema

A double-contrast barium enema is a form of contrast radiography in which x-rays of the colon and rectum are taken using two forms of contrast to make the structures easier to see. A liquid containing barium (that is, a radiocontrast agent) is put into the rectum. Barium is a silver-white metallic compound that outlines the colon and rectum on an x-ray and helps show abnormalities. Air is also put into the rectum and colon to further enhance the x-ray.

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 This article incorporates public domain material from the U.S. National Cancer Institute document "Dictionary of Cancer Terms".