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of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Bethesda, Maryland



Fluoroscopy is a technique for obtaining "live" X-ray images of a living patient - it is like an X-ray TV camera. The Radiologist uses a switch to control an X-Ray beam that is transmitted through the patient.  The X-rays then strike a fluorescent plate that is coupled to an "image intensifier" that is (in turn) coupled to a television camera. The Radiologist can then watch the images "live" on a TV monitor. Fluoroscopy is often used to observe the digestive tract (Upper GI series - Barium Swallow, Lower GI series - Barium Enema or "BE").

The colon is clearly seen on the BE (right). The white areas are barium (contrast) and the black regions are air.

Fluoroscopy is also used during many diagnostic and therapeutic Radiologic procedures, to observe the action of instruments being used either to diagnose or to treat the patient.

Learn about the PHYSICS of Fluoroscopy - Leave This Site

Air-Contrast Barium Enema


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