Abdominal Imaging

The GI (gastrointestinal) section in the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center is a specialized section dedicated to imaging of the GI tract. The section is staffed by three radiologists (Marc S. Levine, M.D., Chief, GI Radiology Section, Igor Laufer, M.D., and Stephen E., Rubesin, M.D.) with primary interest and expertise in GI. All three staff members have tremendous experience and are leaders in their field, having collaborated on numerous original research papers and co-edited several major textbooks on GI radiology. The staff members work closely with gastroenterologists, surgeons, internists, and other physicians in the evaluation of patients with a host of known or suspected GI diseases and play an integral role in the diagnostic work-up of these individuals.

The diagnostic imaging studies performed in our section include a variety of procedures for evaluating various portions of the GI tract: esophagrams (barium swallows) for patients with difficulty swallowing or reflux symptoms; upper GI studies for patients with dyspepsia, epigastric pain, vomiting, or other upper GI complaints; small bowel follow through studies and small bowel enemas (in which barium is injected through a tube placed in the proximal small bowel) for abdominal pain or diarrhea; and barium enemas for rectal bleeding, other colonic symptoms, or colon cancer screening. For all of these examinations, we frequently employ a "double contrast" technique that allows us to detect more subtle GI abnormalities than conventional barium studies with no additional risk to the patient. In fact, the GI radiology section has developed a national reputation for obtaining the highest quality imaging studies.