- Use of positive, negative or a combination of contrast agents to highlight the gastric lumen.
- Identification of the position of the stomach, eg in ascites or if suspect gastric displacement, eg diaphragmatic hernia .
- Investigation of vomiting or hematemesis.
- Investigation of melena.
- Identification of suspected radiolucent foreign bodies .
- Investigation of abdominal pain or distension.
- Investigation of inappetance.
- Assessment of lumen size and gastric axis if stomach not visible on plain films.
- Relatively simple procedure in most patients.
- Non invasive.
- Often difficult to assess subtle mucosal lesions.
- Not very accurate for assessment of motility disorders.
- X-ray machine.
- Processing facilities.
- Protective clothing (lead apron) for radiographer.
- Positioning aids (sandbags, cradle and ties).
- Method of labeling film.
- Large syringe.
- Means of keeping mouth open for stomach tubing, eg inner part of bandage roll.
- Stomach tube.
- Ability to process films during procedure so that repeat radiographs can be taken during course of study if required.
- High output x-ray machine.
- High definition screen.
- Mouth gag.
- Radiographic film.
- Contrast agent.
- Water-soluble lubricant for stomach tubing.
- Dependant upon method of restraint.
- Food witheld for 12-24 hours (may not be required if animal inappetant).
- Enemas required ideally night before but not within 2-3 hours of procedure.
- May need to withhold food for 24 hours if delayed gastric emptying.
- If considering endoscopy this should be performed before contrast radiography.
Reasons for treatment failure
- Inadequate patient preparation, ie stomach not empty.
- May not identify mucosal lesions or motility disorders.
- Poor gastric distension.
- Failure to obtain sufficient radiographs - lesion must be consistent on several films for diagnosis to be made.