Barium sulfate suspension is barium sulfate powder turned into a liquid form by suspending it in a quick-flowing drink to aid in CT scans of the gastrointestinal region.
Barium sulfate suspensions are provided by a radiologist in advance of a CT scan to allow for better computer tomography of the gastrointestinal tract.
The patient is instructed to take nothing by mouth, which means to abstain from eating and drinking (fasting), with the exception of drinking the barium sulfate suspension. The amount of time for this fast may vary, depending on the instructions given by the imaging facility and the area of the body to be scanned, but generally lasts for several hours prior to the scan.
The patient generally skips one meal, along with abstaining from all liquids, clear or otherwise, during this time.
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