Questionnaires were sent to all Consultant Radiologists in the UK regarding complications from barium enema examinations. The 756 respondents performed a total of 738,216 examinations over the three year period 1992 to 1994. Seventy-seven Consultants (10.2%) reported a total of 82 complications including 13 deaths: an overall mortality rate of 1 in 56,786. Only three of 30 (10%) cases of bowel perforation died, as compared with nine out of 16 (56%) cases of cardiac arrhythmia. The only remaining death was a consequence of vaginal intubation. Details of all the reported complications are recorded. This was an entirely retrospective study.