SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Double-contrast barium meal X-ray image of a normal human stomach, showing the contoured appearance of its mucus-secreting lining. The double-contrast method involves distending the stomach with gas (using an effervescent) prior to lining it with a thin coating of barium, a substance opaque to X-rays. Images are of sufficient resolution to show small ulcers & cancers that have not yet spread beyond the mucosa. Since the gas places the mucosa under a slight tension, any abnormality preventing distension will become apparent. This image shows clearly the antrum & lower body, with the duodenal cap at right.
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