BARIUM SULPHATE AS AN CONTRAST MEDIA

Contrast media are the substances which are used to enhance the visibility of an anatomic structure of an organ as it gives better tissue differentiation. These are the chemical substances that are administered in the body by orally, intravenous, intra-arterial or by filling the body cavity or lumen. There are mainly two types of contrast media- positive contrast and negative contrast. Positive contrast are those contrast agents that are highly radiopaque like Iodinated contrast media (Omnipaque, Visipaque, and Barium Sulphate). While negative contrast are radiolucent and they appear black on the X-ray image. Barium Sulphate is widely used as a contrast agent to study gastrointestinal tract disorders. The main advantage of using barium sulphate is that it is non-absorbable and non-toxic. It is a very common contrast media which is usually administered orally, per rectally or directly into the lumen of any hollow cavity. Also it is non-soluble in water so it gives fine and stable mucosal coating in the gastrointestinal study. Barium Sulphate is contraindicated in some patients with history of suspected perforation or obstruction. As in case of perforation or obstruction, it is very difficult to aspirate contrast in these cases. To study git perforation or obstruction, water soluble non-ionic contrast media is used. Barium sulphate and air or carbon dioxide are used together in a double contrast study technique.  Commercially prepared Barium formulations in India are manufactured by M/s. Eskayef Fine Chemicals Ltd. under the brand name of “MICROBAR”. Barium sulphate is used as a contrast media to diagnose gastrointestinal abnormalities like achalasia cardia, pyolorospasm, obstruction, and motility disorders etc. as it produces better distension and good mucosal coating.

By -ASSISTANT PROFESSOR – Mr. Binoo
Department -RADIOLOGY
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