Health A-Z

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What It's Used For

Barium enema is sometimes used to check for tumors of the colon and rectum. It also can check for polyps (abnormal growths attached to the intestinal lining by a stalk), diverticulosis or other problems. It is rarely ordered today because other tests, such as colonoscopy and virtual colonoscopy (a type of contrast enema using a CT scanner), provide much better detail.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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