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Double-Contrast Barium Meal and Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: A Comparative Study

CORNELIUS P. DOOLEY, M.B., B.Ch.; ALAN W. LARSON, M.D.; NIGEL H. STACE, M.B., Ch.B.; IAN G. RENNER, M.D.; JORGE E. VALENZUELA, M.D.; JOAN ELIASOPH, M.D.; PATRICK M. COLLETTI, M.D.; JAMES M. HALLS, M.D.; and JOHN M. WEINER, Dr.P.H.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Cornelius P. Dooley, M.B.; Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, 2025 Zonal Avenue; Los Angeles, CA 90033.


Los Angeles, California


© 1984 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(4):538-545. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-101-4-538
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One hundred randomly selected inpatients were examined with both double-contrast barium meal and endoscopy in a blinded prospective fashion. All studies were done by staff personnel, with equal clinical information available to both the radiologist and endoscopist. The final diagnosis was made by a review committee of participating radiologists and endoscopists. Endoscopy was more sensitive (92% versus 54%, p < 0.001) and specific (100% versus 91%, p < 0.05) than the double-contrast barium meal. Both procedures significantly affected the clinical outcome of the patient, the effect of endoscopy being significantly greater than that of the double-contrast barium meal. Although errors with the barium study related predominantly to an inability to show subtle lesions, poor patient cooperation and perceptual and technical failures were additional significant factors. Endoscopy is recommended for certain groups of patients.

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