Radiology Terms

Double-Contrast Barium Enema

What is double-contrast barium enema?

Double-contrast barium enema is an X-ray technique used to examine the colon and rectum. Double-contrast refers to the two types of contrast media used to create more detailed and sensitive images than one contrast alone. 

The first contrast substance is liquid (usually barium or Gastrografin) and is administered into the rectum, while the second contrast is air or carbon dioxide that’s administered into the rectum and colon. Double-contrast barium enema can be used to detect polyps and colorectal cancer, evaluate for diverticular disease and help investigate abdominal pain.