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Barium Sulfate and Iodine Determination

Howard J. Barnhard, M.D.; T. H. Oddie, D.Sc.
JAMA. 1961;177(10):728-729. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040360064019.
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To the Editor:—  In answer to a question in the The Journal, March 18, 1961, page 1037, Dr. Edward Bigg stated: "Barium sulfate contains a trace of iodine. Due to the volume of suspension used in either an upper gastrointestinal series or barium enema, a significant concentration obtains in the blood stream sufficient to affect the determination of the protein bound iodine level or uptake of I131."Such an assertion raises a point of significant concern. We therefore determined to check it, using the oral route, since the opportunity for absorption would be greater than from an enema. Six subjects were given a 16-oz. suspension containing 8 oz. of barium sulfate (General Electric's "Veriopaque"). Plasma samples drawn before and 4 hours after administration of the barium sulfate were submitted to an outside laboratory under different fictitious names, with the results tabulated below in micrograms per 100 ml.:The agreement


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