SUSAN LEAVINES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SUSAN LEAVINES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Intestine. Coloured X-ray of the human digestive system, showing the large and small intestines. The small intestine (coiled) is at centre. The large intestine is at top left and right, and the rectum at lower centre. This image has been produced by giving the patient a barium enema. Because barium, a metallic element is opaque to X- rays, it provides an image of the intestinal tract on X-ray film. For double contrast examinations (as here) a smaller quantity of more concentrated barium is used, followed by air. This technique provides an image of surface abnormalities such as hernias, ulcers, tumours and Crohn's disease.
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