Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Megacolon Infant Anatomy

To better understand congenital megacolon, it helps to understand the anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract.

The intestine absorbs nutrients from food and liquids. The intestine is about 22 feet long in an adult. It includes the large intestine and the small intestine.

The large intestine is also known as the colon. It is the last portion of the intestine. The colon has several parts, including:

  • Ascending colon: the first section after the small intestine, located on the right side
  • Transverse colon: sits horizontally across the upper abdomen
  • Descending colon: located on the left side of the abdomen
  • Sigmoid: a short, S-shaped section above the rectum
  • Rectum: the lowest internal part of the colon

Gastrointestinal anatomy:
  • Esophagus and stomach
  • Intestines
  • Blood vessels of the intestines
  • Entire gastrointestinal tract

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Megacolon Infant References
  1. De Lorijn F, Reitsma JB, Voskuijl WP, Aronson DC, Ten Kate FJ, Smets AM, Taminiau JA, Benninga MA. Diagnosis of Hirschsprung's disease: a prospective, comparative accuracy study of common tests. J Pediatr. 2005 Jun;146(6):787-92. [15973319]
  2. Pena A, Levitt MA. Colonic inertia disorders in pediatrics. Curr Probl Surg. 2002 Jul;39(7):666-730. [12085018]
  3. Swenson O. Hirschsprung's disease: a review. Pediatrics. 2002 May;109(5):914-8. [11986456]
  4. Tomita R, Ikeda T, Fujisaki S, Tanjoh K, Munakata K. Hirschsprung's disease and its allied disorders in adults' histological and clinical studies. Hepatogastroenterology. 2003 Jul-Aug;50(52):1050-3. [12845979]
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