Radiographic and endoscopic evaluation of the upper GI tract.
As the use of endoscopy to evaluate gastrointestinal disorders increases, debate has arisen regarding the appropriate use of endoscopy vs the traditional upper GI series. Some clinicians argue that radiographic evaluation of the upper GI tract with barium is preferable because it provides definitive results in a majority of cases, is noninvasive, requires no anesthesia and is less expensive. Others argue that a biopsy can easily be performed during endoscopy if a problem is discovered during the procedure, avoiding the need for a subsequent biopsy or surgery. This article outlines the advantages and disadvantages of both procedures in the evaluation of upper GI symptoms.