Gastrografin Swallow

Last updated: 24 November 2017

What is Gastrografin?

Gastrografin (sodium amidotrizoate; amidotrizoate meglumine) is an X-ray contrast medium. It is typically swallowed by the patient and has a sweet taste.

What is a Gastrografin swallow?

A Gastrografin swallow is a test used to show the outline of the oesophagus and stomach on a plain X-Ray. It may show irregularities in the usually smooth outline of the oesophagus and stomach, caused by strictures (narrowing) or ulceration (damage to the esophageal mucosa (lining)).

How does a Gastrografin swallow differ from a Barium swallow?

A Gastrografin swallow differs from a Barium swallow in that the Gastrografin swallow’s contrast material is water soluble and less irritating to body tissues if there is a leak from the oesophagus (known as a perforation).

How is a Gastrografin swallow performed?

The test involves drinking a solution of Gastrografin which shows up on an X-Ray. This contrast medium is non-toxic, and shows up as white on a plain X-Ray taken during or soon after swallowing. The gastrografin is detected on the inside of the oesophagus and gives an idea of its lining surface.

When would you get a Gastrografin swallow?

A Gastrografin swallow may be requested by your doctor if you have difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or painful swallowing (odynophagia). These symptoms may indicate a narrowing in the oesophagus (known as a stricture), ulceration or inflammation of the oesophagus (oesophagitis), or failure of normal relaxation of the oesophagus during swallowing (achalasia).

Test results, explained

Gastrografin Swallow results are sent to your doctor after the images have been interpreted by the radiologist. One of the above conditions may be diagnosed, or further tests may be required if the test is inconclusive.

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Also known as

  • Gastrografin oesophagram


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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.