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, coloured blue and green, has three regions. At left is the caecum and the ascending region of the colon; at top, the transverse colon runs horizontally and up to the right, leading 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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