Medical Definition of Barium

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Barium: 1. A metallic element belonging to the alkaline earths with an atomic number of 56 and an atomic weight of 137.34. The symbol for barium is Ba.
2. In medicine, refers to a chalky solution of barium used to coat the inside of organs, such as the stomach or intestines so that they will show up on an x-ray.
See also: Barium enema; Barium swallow.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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