Health Topics

Contrast Enema

This is a test which uses X-rays and a special kind of enema solution and/or air to take pictures of the colon or large bowel, which is the lower part of the intestines. The test shows the doctor if there are abnormalities of the colon or distal small intestine.

Types of Positive Contrast Enemas

  • A contrast enema uses an enema fluid that shows up on X-ray. The only special preparation is to make sure your child does not eat or drink for two hours before the test. This test is commonly used for patients with chronic constipation to help diagnose a disorder called Hirschsprung's disease.
  • An air contrast barium enema uses air along with an enema fluid, barium, that shows up on X-ray. Air contrast barium enemas are frequently done to look for a source of rectal bleeding (such as a polyp). Bowel preparation is required for this test.
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Before the Test

During the Test

After the Test


Last Updated: 07/2013