SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Large intestine. Computer-enhanced coloured X-ray image of the human abdomen showing the large intestine (colon), after a barium enema. The dilated colon has three regions. At left is the caecum and the ascending region (yellow) 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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