BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Large intestine. Coloured X-ray image of the human abdomen showing the large intestine (colon), after a barium enema. The dilated colon (orange) consists of three regions. At left is the rounded end of the caecum and the ascending region of the colon; the transverse colon runs horizontally, here with a large loop. The transverse colon leads to the descending colon (at right). At bottom centre is the rectum. The colon absorbs water and electrolytes from digested food; periodic muscular contractions move the dehydrated contents (faeces) towards the rectum. A barium enema is a suspension of barium sulphate (which is opaque to X-rays) that is infused into the rectum.
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