Contrast Media pp 239-242 | Cite as

Barium Preparations: Safety Issues

Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Barium preparations are generally safe and adverse effects are uncommon. This chapter describes these adverse effects which include colonic retention of barium, leakage of barium from the gastrointestinal tract, aspiration of barium into the bronchial tree, and intravasation of barium. Allergic reactions to the additives in the barium preparations may also occur.


Barium Enema Rectal Administration Barium Sulphate Meglumine Diatrizoate Barium Sulphate Suspension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Almen T, Aspelin P (1995) Contrast media in diagnostic radiology. In: Pettersson H (ed) The NICER centennial book 1995. A global textbook of radiology, Chap 7. NICER Institute, Lund, p 131Google Scholar
  2. Bechem C, Gunther H (1910) Barium sulphate as a shadow- forming contrast medium in radiological investigations. Z Rontgenk Radiumfortschr 12:369–376Google Scholar
  3. Ginai AZ, Ten Kate FJW, Ten Berg RGM, Hoornstra K (1994) Experimental evaluation of various available contrast agents for use in the upper gastrointestinal tract in case of suspected leakage. Effects on lungs. Br J Radiol 57:895–901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Glauser T, Savioz D, Grossholz M et al (1999) Venous intravasation of Gastrografin: a serious but underestimated complication. Eur J Surg 165:274–277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gray C, Sivaloganathan S, Simkins KC (1980) Aspiration of high-density barium contrast medium causing acute pulmonary inflammation—report of two fatal cases in elderly women with disordered swallowing. Clin Radiol 40:397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Lareau DG, Berta JW (1976) Fatal aspiration of thick barium. Radiology 120:317PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Morcos SK (2000) Radiological contrast media. In: Dukes MNG, Aronson JKS (eds) Side effects of drugs, 14th edn, Chap 46.1. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 1603–1605Google Scholar
  8. Morcos SK, Brown P (1999) Radiological contrast agents. In: Aronson JK (ed) Side effects of drugs, annual 24, Chap 46. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p 503Google Scholar
  9. Morcos SK, Brown P (2001) Radiological contrast agents. In: Aronson JK (ed) Side effects of drugs, annual 24, Chap 46. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 524–525Google Scholar
  10. Ownby DR, Tomlanovich M, Sammons N et al (1991) Anaphylaxis associated with latex allergy during barium enema examinations. Am J Roentgenol 156:903–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Regan JK, O’Neil HK, Aizenstein RI (1999) Small bowel carci-noid presenting as a barolith. Clin Imaging 23:22–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Seymour PC, Kesack CD (1997) Anaphylactic shock during a routine upper gastrointestinal series. Am J Roentgenol 168:957–958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Smith HJ, Jones K, Hunter TB (1988) What happens to patients after upper and lower gastrointestinal studies? Invest Radiol 23:822PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Stringer DA, Hassal E, Ferguson AC et al (1993) Hypersensitivity reaction to single contrast barium meal studies in children. Paediatr Radiol 23:587–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tamm I, Kortsik C (1999) Severe barium sulphate aspiration into the lung: clinical presentation, prognosis and therapy. Respiration 66:81–84PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Wheatley MJ, Eckhauser FE (1991) Portal venous barium intravasation complicating barium enema examination. Surgery 109:788–791PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Williams SM, Harned RK (1991) Recognition and prevention of barium enema complications. Curr Probl Diagn Radiol 20:123–151PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Zheutlin N, Lasser EC, Rigler LG (1952) Clinical studies on the effect of barium in the peritoneal cavity following rupture of the colon. Surgery 32:96Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Diagnostic ImagingUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations