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What are the differences between a barium enema and a CT colonography?

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Dr. Michael Gabor
Diagnostic Radiology

In brief: CT colonoscopy

is a CT scan with specific technical parameters.
There is a bowel prep to clear out the colon, and a tube is placed into the rectum to fill the colon with air. A barium enema uses x-ray/fluoroscopy instead of CT. With a rectal tube, the colon is filled with barium and air, and the patient placed in different positions for viewing. Barium enema has been largely replaced by colonoscopy.

In brief: CT colonoscopy

is a CT scan with specific technical parameters.
There is a bowel prep to clear out the colon, and a tube is placed into the rectum to fill the colon with air. A barium enema uses x-ray/fluoroscopy instead of CT. With a rectal tube, the colon is filled with barium and air, and the patient placed in different positions for viewing. Barium enema has been largely replaced by colonoscopy.
Dr. Michael Gabor
Dr. Michael Gabor
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