Testing & Diagnosis for Intestinal atresia and stenosis in Children

The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis. If doctors suspect an intestinal obstruction after your baby was born, they will run tests to see whether there is an obstruction, and if so, determine its location. These diagnostic tests may include:

  • An x-ray and/or ultrasound of your baby’s abdomen can create images of his intestines that may show an obstruction. Or the doctors may give your child barium, a chalky liquid that coats the inside of your child’s organs and lets certain blockages and narrowing appear on an x-ray.

  • To examine the upper parts of the small intestines, your child will swallow the barium. This is known as an upper GI (gastrointestinal) test, and is also sometimes called a barium swallow.

  • For the lower parts of the small intestine, your child will be given barium through an enema. This is called a lower GI test, or a barium enema.

Doctors may also perform imaging studies of your child’s heart and kidneys to check for the anomalies that sometimes accompany intestinal obstructions.