Value of Double-Contrast Barium Enema Performed Immediately After Incomplete Colonoscopy
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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ease, completeness, and clinical utility of double-contrast barium enema (DCBE) performed immediately after incomplete colonoscopy. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: During a 30-month period, a prospective study was performed in 103 patients (79 women, 24 men) to determine the ease and completeness of DCBE immediately after failed colonoscopy and any additional useful information provided by the enema. The ease with which DCBE was performed was graded from 1 (easy) to 10 (difficult). RESULTS: DCBE revealed the entire colon in 97 patients (94%). Incomplete DCBE was a result of obstruction and incontinence in three patients each. The mean score for ease of performing DCBE was 5.0. In 14 patients (14%), significant additional diagnostic information was provided by the immediate DCBE. In eight patients, abnormalities were identified on DCBE that had not been seen at colonoscopy (five malignant neoplasms, one diverticular mass, two extrinsic masses, and multiple strictures). In four patients, a suspected colonoscopic abnormality was excluded with DCBE findings; and in two patients, a colonoscopic abnormality was further characterized with DCBE. CONCLUSION: Immediate DCBE after incomplete colonoscopy allows complete colonic evaluation in most cases, often adds vital diagnostic information, and eliminates repeated bowel preparation and unnecessary delay in diagnosis.
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