This patient had a recent barium enema which resulted in barium impaction in numerous colonic diverticula. Barium impacted in diverticula often persist for weeks or months, and sometimes for years. This property has been exploited in at least one known case to treat refractory colonic diverticular bleeding using barium impaction therapy. Inspissated barium may also form a barolith which is a rare cause of bowel obstruction.
1. Matsuhashi N. et al, Barium Impaction Therapy for Refractory Colonic Diverticular Bleeding, American Journal of Roentgenology 2003; 180:490-492
2. Chapman A. & El-Hasani S., Colon ischaemia secondary to barolith obstruction, The British Journal of Radiology, 1998; 71:983-984
Credit: Dr Donna D’Souza