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//RADIOGRAPHIC APPEARANCES

RADIOGRAPHIC APPEARANCES

Cross-sectional imaging of the colon can be performed with computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). On axial imaging the colon may be filled with particulate faeces and air (Fig. 67.10). The wall in normal individuals is thin. The caecum and ascending colon often contain faecal residue and are easily identified in the right retroperitoneum. The transverse colon may contain faeces or gas, but lies in a variable position suspended by its mesentery. The descending colon in the left retroperitoneum is frequently collapsed and contains little faecal residue.

  

Fig. 67.10  Appearance of the colon on multislice computerized tomographic examination. A, Axial CT. B, Coronal reformat showing normal calibre and distribution of the abdominal colon (ascending, transverse and descending). C, Volume-rendering of the colonic wall using the axial data set to produce virtual colonoscopic views, showing the triangular lumen of the transverse colon. D, Volume-rendering of the air-filled colon using the axial data set to give an image similar to a double contrast barium enema demonstrating haustrations.
(A and B by courtesy of Dr Louise Moore, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.) (C and D by courtesy of GE Worldwide Medical Systems.)

The volume data sets produced by modern multislice CT can now produce virtual colonoscopic mucosal images in the distended and cleaned colon, and surface-rendered images of the internal surface of the bowel.

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