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What is an Upper GI Series used for?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 30, 2014
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • An upper GI series is used to diagnose problems in upper GI tract.
  • X rays and fluoroscopy are used to create a film of the organs.
  • There are two kinds of upper GI series.
  • Upper GI series is used to detect cause of various problems in the body.

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What is Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Series?

Upper GI series also known as barium swallow is used to detect problems in the upper GI tract with the use of x rays and fluoroscopy. Using x rays a picture is created with help of radiation and a film is recorded on film or on a computer. By using fluoroscopy, an x ray film is created which makes it possible to examine the internal organs and their motion.
In order to make the GI tract properly visible in the x ray film, the patient’s upper GI tract is filled chalky liquid known as barium.

Upper GI Series

The GI series can be broadly classified into two types:

  • A standard barium upper GI series in which barium is used only during the test
  • A double-contrast upper GI series in which a combination of air and barium is used to have a clearer picture of the stomach lining.

 

Why is it Performed?

The upper GI series is performed in order to detect the reason behind:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Weight loss without any reason
  • Besides these, upper GI series is also used to show:
  • Abnormal growth
  • Esophageal varices
  • Gastrophageal reflux
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Inflammation or selling of the GI tract
  • Ulcers.

Upper GI Series

 

How to Prepare?

A person can prepare for an upper GI series by consulting a health care provider and by clearing the upper HI tract.

Image courtesy: Getty Imges

Read more on Upper GI Series.

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