BSIP DR PICHARD T. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP DR PICHARD T. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Large intestine. Coloured X-ray image of a healthy human abdomen showing the large intestine (colon), after a barium enema. The spine (at upper centre), pelvis (at bottom) and the hips (at bottom left and right) are all coloured orange. At bottom centre is the rectum. The colon absorbs water and electrolytes from digested food and then moves the dehydrated remnants (faeces) towards the rectum by periodic contractions. A barium enema is an X-ray opaque suspension of barium sulphate that is infused into the rectum. The barium sulphate is in a much higher concentration in the lower part of the colon creating the very bright area seen there.
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