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Tract Radiography

What is it?

Tract radiography uses X-ray imaging to examine the structure or function of the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Tract radiography may be done with traditional X-rays or with a newer X-ray technique called fluoroscopy, which can produce moving images. Fluoroscopy provides more information about how an organ is working, as opposed to a still X-ray that only shows how the organ looks.

Most tract radiography uses a large, flat table that can move and tilt, with a movable arm above it that contains the imaging equipment. The images are viewed on a nearby monitor that’s connected to the imaging equipment.

Who needs it?

Tract radiography may be recommended if a doctor suspects ulcers, growths, cancer, or other intestinal illness. It is often used to find the cause of chronic diarrhea, blood in stools, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, unexplained weight loss, a change in bowel habits, or regular blood loss. It can also be used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, a group of disorders that include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Tract radiography must be ordered by a physician.