A Part of the University of Maryland Medical Center

Connect with UMGCC
Facebook Twitter YouTube Blog iPhone
Email PageEmail page Print PagePrint page

Home >Information for Patients > Dictionary Index

Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Ingesta de bario

Barium swallow (BAYR-ee-um SWAH-loh)
The process of getting x-ray pictures of the esophagus or the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum). The x-ray pictures are taken after the patient drinks a liquid that contains barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner walls of the esophagus and the upper GI tract so that they can be seen on the x-ray pictures.



 
 
Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.