A barium enema involves filling the large intestine with diluted barium liquid while x-ray images are being taken. Barium enemas are used to diagnose disorders of the large intestine, colon and rectum, such as colonic tumors, polyps, diverticula and unexplained weight loss or anemia.

GI examination to detect:

  • benign tumors (such as polyps) cancer
  • ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Hirschsprung disease in children (a blockage of the large intestine)

The procedure is frequently performed to help diagnose symptoms such as:

  • chronic diarrhea
  • blood in stools
  • constipation
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • unexplained weight loss
  • a change in bowel habits
  • suspected blood loss
  • abdominal pain