Sigmoid colon

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Sigmoid colon
ColonSigmoideo.png
Drawing of colon seen from front
(sigmoid colon coloured blue)
Gray1223.png
Front of abdomen, showing surface markings for liver, stomach and large intestine
Details
Latin Colon sigmoideum
Sigmoid arteries of inferior mesenteric artery
Inferior mesenteric ganglia and sacral nerve[1]
Hindgut
Identifiers
Gray's p.1182
Dorlands
/Elsevier
12249909
TA A05.7.03.007
FMA FMA:14548
Anatomical terminology

The sigmoid colon (pelvic colon) is the part of the large intestine that is closest to the rectum and anus. It forms a loop that averages about 40 cm in length, and normally lies within the pelvis, but on account of its freedom of movement it is liable to be displaced into the abdominal cavity.[citation needed]

Structure[edit]

The sigmoid colon begins at the superior aperture of the lesser pelvis, where it is continuous with the iliac colon, and passes transversely across the front of the sacrum to the right side of the pelvis. (The name sigmoid aptly means S-shaped.)

It then curves on itself and turns toward the left to reach the middle line at the level of the third piece of the sacrum, where it bends downward and ends in the rectum.

Its function is to expel solid and gaseous waste from the gastrointestinal tract. The curving path it takes toward the anus allows it to store gas in the superior arched portion, enabling the colon to expel gas without excreting faeces simultaneously.

Coverings[edit]

It is completely surrounded by peritoneum (and thus is not retroperitoneal), which forms a mesentery (sigmoid mesocolon), which diminishes in length from the center toward the ends of the loop, where it disappears, so that the loop is fixed at its junctions with the iliac colon and rectum, but enjoys a considerable range of movement in its central portion.

Innervation[edit]

Pelvic splanchnic nerves are the primary source for parasympathetic innervation. Lumbar splanchnic nerves provide sympathetic innervation via the inferior mesenteric ganglion.

Relations[edit]

Behind the sigmoid colon are the external iliac vessels, the left Piriformis, and left sacral plexus of nerves.

In front, it is separated from the bladder in the male, and the uterus in the female, by some coils of the small intestine.

Clinical significance[edit]

Additional images[edit]

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

External links[edit]