Gastrointestinal Malignancies Prevention



This is a series of x-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. Together, the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum are called the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, or upper digestive system. The x-rays are taken during and after drinking contrast material called barium. The barium solution is a thick, white, chalky, milkshake-like liquid. It coats the inside lining of your GI tract. This makes the GI tract show up better on the x-ray.

Upper Digestive System
Upper GI stomach duodenum
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Possible Complications

Some people may have an allergic reaction to the barium or have difficulty keeping it down.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Upper GI Series; Barium Swallow; Barium Meal)


American Gastroenterological Association 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology 

Radiology for Patients 


Patient prep & instruction manual. Scheduled test: upper GI series. Penn Medicine website. Available at: Accessed April 4, 2018.

Upper GI series. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Updated August 2016. Accessed April 4, 2018.

X-ray (radiography)—upper GI tract. Radiology Info—Radiological Society of America website. Available at: Updated April 1, 2017. Accessed April 4, 2018.