Ileocaecal valve

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The ileocaecal valve separates the terminal ileum from the caecum and functions to regulate flow between these two structures and prevent reflux from the caecum into the small intestine

The ileocaecal valve consists of two muscular layers of ileum, an upper and lower lip, that are covered by mucuosa and protrude into the lumen of the caecaum supported by mucosal folds called frenula. This forms the opening of the terminal ileum into the medial caecum and delineates the upper margin of the caecum from the ascending colon.

The morphology of the ileocaecal valve has be described on endoscopy as 1, 3, 4:

  • labial-type: slit-like opening (most common)
  • papillary-type: dome-shaped
  • lipomatous: significant amount of fat demonstrated in the lips
  • lateral (~7.5%) or posterior opening (~5%) 2, 4
  • identified on barium enema as an oval or triangular-shaped filling defect with smooth or lobulated surfaces 4
  • best viewed on supine imaging
  • mixed-density structure at the junction of the ileum and caecum with an average density of -25 HU (range -60 HU to +18 HU) 4
Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
Share article

Article information

rID: 29889
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ileocaecal junction
  • Ileocecal valve
  • Valvula Bauhini
  • Sphincter coli
  • Ileocolonic sphincter
  • Ileocaecal sphincter
  • Ileocecal sphincter
  • Ileocecal junction

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Case 1: normal ileocaecal valve on fluoroscopy
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    open red arrow: p...
    Case 1: relationship of the ileocaecal valve to the appendix
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2: the fatty "lips" of the ileocaecal valve
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.