It was only about 6 years ago at the Leeds GI Radiology course, that I attended a lecture by Frans-Thomas Fork, who is professor of radiology and endoscopy at Malmö, where he showed how you could pick up small polyps and other subtle lesions on barium enemas by a combination of good technique and attention to detail. It was pretty impressive stuff from a guy who was clearly very good.
Today (Friday) at the ECR, in a lecture on imaging rectal cancer, he said that the barium enema should probably be discarded... It's just not sensitive enough for polyp detection compared to endoscopy or CT colonography.
It probably has another five or ten years left, before being completely superseded by CT colonography (or even MR, who knows?).
Something for the barium radiographers to consider. Enjoy it while it lasts.
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