What is barium enema?

Barium enema is an X-ray examination of the rectum and colon. It is also called a lower gastrointestinal tract radiography. The study is performed by pouring contrast (liquid containing barium sulfate) through a tube inserted into the anus. This liquid coats the inside of the large intestine and clearly shows its outline on an X-ray image. These pictures help the doctor to detect abnormalities of the colon.

Why is barium enema done?

A barium enema helps a doctor to see the shape, lining and size of the colon and rectum. Your physician may request that you have a barium enema to assess symptoms, such as the following:

The exam may diagnose diseases, including:

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy