Conventional barium enema in early pregnancy

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2010;30(6):559-62. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2010.497874.


X-ray exposure, especially if directed to the abdominal region, is of major concern for pregnant women and their physicians. In this study, favourable long-term outcomes are reported in a series of babies born to women inadvertently exposed to barium enema, and associated ionising radiation, early in pregnancy. Six singleton babies were vaginally delivered without any evidence of gross malformations. There was one voluntary abortion. Follow-up on five of the babies was performed over the course of at least 4 years. All the children were deemed healthy and had developed milestones according to their age. Our findings support larger studies suggesting barium enema is not a teratogenic agent. Collectively, this research can be used to counsel women undergoing radiological procedures early in pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Barium Sulfate*
  • Contrast Media
  • Enema
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy / radiation effects*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First


  • Contrast Media
  • Barium Sulfate