What does an Esophagram show?

April 26, 2011

Types of Esophagram Techniques

There are several different types of esophagram techniques that could be used to inspect the upper and middle areas of the esophagus. The esophagram is carried out with the help of a barium x-ray where the doctor maps the passage of the liquid through the esophagus. Before conducting the test the doctor will ascertain whether the patient has any allergies and also discuss the medications which the patient has been on so far. Women who are pregnant have to ensure that they inform the doctor about their condition. Before undergoing the barium meal x-ray the patient should remain on a high fiber diet for a few days so that the gut is cleared out. The esophagram has to be done while fasting and is best done in the mornings. The patient should also abstain from smoking for at least twelve hours prior to this test.


In certain Esophagram procedures there are some crystals, which are gas producing, added to the barium prior to the patient swallowing it. The barium is then tracked as it moves through the esophagus down to the stomach and then to the small intestines. While the barium movement is being tracked many x-ray pictures are shot from various angles at different intervals. This esophagram technique is done to check the throat and the mouth area and also gastrointestinal tract. The entire procedure is known as a barium swallow test or a barium esophagram test.

Test Results

The esophagram test is carried out on people who have certain symptoms like a problem in swallowing, regurgitation, pain in the gullet area or continuous vomiting. The Esophagram results help to detect any abnormalities in the tract like ulcers, tumors or any other problems related to the discomfort. The gullet is an n organ which is very motile and assists in swallowing what is eaten. Sometimes the motility could be affected due to a disease which would make it difficult to swallow the food and even if it has been swallowed to keep it inside. cine esophagogram is one such esophagogram technique that is a popularly used method to investigate the cause of this disability.

The technologist or the radiologist who performs this test will discuss any problems which have been noted. The entire procedure takes around half and hour. There is no discomfort during the examination. Once it is over the patient can have normal diet and go about their normal routine unless the doctor advises them otherwise. As a common side effect, the stools would be a chalky white for a few days because of the barium which is white. It is best to drink a lot of water after this test has been done.

Submitted by N S on April 26, 2011 at 12:44

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