Whole milk effective contrast agent, AJR study finds

A study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology found that whole milk is just as effective, costs less, and is easier on patients than a diluted barium suspension for CT images of the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Chi Wan Koo and colleagues at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City conducted a study that included 215 patients undergoing abdominal and pelvic CT. All patients were given IV contrast media, while 115 were also given whole milk as an oral contrast agent, and 100 received a 0.1% barium suspension (AJR, May 2008, Vol. 190:5, pp. 1307-1313).

The study found that the images taken of patients who received whole milk were just as useful as those taken with diluted barium. Milk also had better patient acceptance and fewer adverse effects, Koo wrote.

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