Large intestine

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 03 Feb 2021

The large intestine (also known as the large bowel) is a 1.5 meter muscular tube that extends from the cecum to the rectum. It has three outer longitudinal muscular layers called taenia coli, which are about 30 cm shorter than the length of the large bowel causing characteristic sacculations interrupted by incomplete rings called haustra 1. The large bowel is divided into the following parts:

NB: some people use the term colon as a synonym for the large intestine/bowel, however anatomically, the colon does not include the rectum, and therefore colon and large intestine are not synonymous.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Case 1: normal appearance on barium enema
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  • Figure 2
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  • Figure 3: lymphatics of the colon (Gray's illustration)
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