Ileocecal valve

Dr Ayla Al Kabbani and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

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

The ileocecal 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 cecum and delineates the upper margin of the cecum from the ascending colon.

The morphology of the ileocecal 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 cecum with an average density of -25 HU (range -60 HU to +18 HU) 4
Anatomy: Abdominopelvic

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic

Article information

rID: 29889
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Valve of Varolius
  • Colic valve
  • Ileocaecal eminence
  • Ileocecal eminence
  • Bauhin’s valve
  • Tulpius valve
  • Tulp’s valve
  • Ileal papilla
  • Ileocaecal junction
  • Ileocecal valve
  • Valvula Bauhini
  • Sphincter coli
  • Ileocolonic sphincter
  • Ileocaecal sphincter
  • Ileocecal sphincter
  • Ileocecal junction

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Case 1: normal ileocecal valve on fluoroscopy
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  • open red arrow: p...
    Case 1: relationship of the ileocecal valve to the appendix
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  • Case 2: the fatty "lips" of the ileocecal valve
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