Gastrointestinal Radiology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 167–169 | Cite as

Towards a radiologic definition of idiopathic megacolon

  • David M. Preston
  • John E. Lennard-Jones
  • Brian M. Thomas


Measurements of bowel width and rectal area were used to define normal limits of size in 50 double-contrast barium enema films. Two types of patient with constipation were defined by comparison with these results. In 18 women with prolonged whole-gut transit time, the measurements were within the normal range. Of 11 men and 9 women with a previous radiologic diagnosis of idiopathic megacolon, all had an enlarged rectum and the abnormal width extended proximally to involve the colon for a variable distance. A width of 6.5 cm at the pelvic brim provides a convenient and discriminating separation of normal from abnormal.

Key words

Colon, radiography Megacolon, diagnosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Preston
    • 1
  • John E. Lennard-Jones
    • 1
  • Brian M. Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Mark's HospitalLondonEngland

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