Print Page
Glossary: upper GI series, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

upper GI series

(UH-per ... SEER-eez)

A series of x-ray pictures of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The x-ray pictures are taken after the patient drinks a liquid containing barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner walls of the upper gastrointestinal tract so that they can be seen on the x-ray pictures. Also called upper gastrointestinal series.

Barium swallow; shows barium liquid flowing through the esophagus and into the stomach.

Barium swallow. The patient swallows barium liquid and it flows through the esophagus and into the stomach. X-rays are taken to look for abnormal areas.

2009-07-21