Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Lab

Standardized Barium Stimuli

It is important to try to perform videofluoroscopy using standardized barium stimuli, so that the same contrast is visible on every exam.  In the United States, Varibar is a product line distributed by Bracco that is specifically intended for oropharyngeal swallowing examinations.  Varibar comes in a 40% w/v barium concentration and several different consistencies (Thin, Nectar-thick, Thin Honey-thick, Honey-thick, Pudding-thick).

Unfortunately, Varibar is not currently approved for clinical use outside the United States.  Consequently clinicians in other countries are faced with the challenge of trying to prepare standardized stimuli using other barium products.  This website provides guidance on how to do this.

Notice to Clinicians Preparing Barium Stimuli

Mixing barium preparations in a way that differs from the manufacturer’s label or using them in a different examination context constitutes an “off-label” use of the product. Clinicians are advised to check product labels for intended use and to explore the implications of off-label use with their employers and local regulatory bodies.

Please note that the calculator rounds all values to the nearest g or mL, and so the generated IDDSI level of thickness is an expectation, not a guarantee. To learn more about the IDDSI framework for different levels of thickness, please click here.

Recipe queries may be directed by email to Dr. Steele or the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Lab.