Taeniae coli

Last revised by Faiyaz Rahman on 14 Jul 2021

The taeniae coli are the three outer muscular bands of the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, and descending colon.

Gross anatomy

They sit on top of the inner circumferential layer and result in the classical appearance of the colon: the haustral markings are interrupted unlike the valvulae conniventes within the small bowel.

The taeniae coli converge at the base of the appendix in the cecum where they form a complete longitudinal layer. In the ascending and descending colon, the bands are located anteriorly, posteromedially and posterolaterally. Due to the rotation of the colon with the transverse colon, the taeniae coli are located posteriorly, anterosuperiorly and anteroinferiorly.

In the sigmoid colon, the taeniae coli gradually broaden to form anterior and posterior layers which fuse laterally, to form the longitudinal layer of the rectum.

Clinical importance

In an appendectomy, if the appendix is not immediately obvious, the taeniae coli can be used as a guide to identify the appendix where they merge at its base. 

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Case 1: taeniae coli
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