GCA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GCA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Large intestine. Coloured X-ray of the human abdomen showing a healthy large intestine (colon), after a barium enema. The colon (blue & white) has three main sections: the ascending colon (at left), the transverse colon (at centre and upper right) and the descending colon (at right). Behind the colon is the spinal column, while the bladder (white) is at lower centre. The colon absorbs electrolytes and water from digested food, leaving the dehydrated contents (faeces) to move towards the rectum (at centre bottom). A barium enema, of X-ray opaque barium sulphate, is infused into the rectum to make the colon show up on X-ray.
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