The fundamental principle of Roentgen-ray examinations of the stomach and intestine is the visualization of their outline by filling them with substances opaque to the ray, a principle which we owe to Rieder, of Munich, who, in 1904, first used bismuth subnitrate for the purpose, From this has evolved the present-day technic of radiography of the digestive tract, the evolution being contributed to in minor particulars by numerous roentgenologists, and in major particulars by a few men of whom Holzknecht and Haudek stand out with signal prominence.
The occasional toxicity of bismuth subnitrate soon led to its supersession by bismuth subcarbonate and later the oxychlorid. Zirconium oxid has also been employed to some extent abroad. Chemically pure barium sulphate, because of its cheapness, has come into very general use both for enemas and for the opaque meal.
Bismuth subcarbonate is in common use. By its alkalinity peristaltic activity is depressed
CARMAN RD. THE TECHNIC OF ROENTGEN-RAY EXAMINATION OF THE GASTRO-INTESTINAL TRACT, AND THE INTERPRETATION OF SCREEN AND PLATE FINDINGS. JAMA. 1913;61(5):321–327. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350050003002
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