Infobox Anatomy
Name = Rectum
Latin =
GraySubject = 249
GrayPage = 1183

Caption = Anatomy of the anus and rectum

Caption2 = The posterior aspect of the rectum exposed by removing the lower part of the sacrum and the coccyx.
Precursor = Hindgut
Artery = superior rectal artery(1st two-thirds of rectum), middle rectal artery(last third of rectum)
Vein = superior rectal veins, middle rectal veins
Nerve = inferior anal nerves, inferior mesenteric ganglia [GeorgiaPhysiology|6/6ch2/s6ch2_30]
Lymph = inferior mesenteric lymph nodes, pararectal lymph nodes, internal iliac lymph nodes
MeshName = Rectum
MeshNumber = A03.556.124.526.767
DorlandsPre = r_05
DorlandsSuf = 12697487
The rectum (from the Latin "rectum intestinum", meaning "straight intestine") is the final straight portion of the large intestine in some mammals, and the gut in others, terminating in the anus. The human rectum is about 12 cm long. At its commencement its caliber is similar to that of the sigmoid colon, but near its termination it is dilated, forming the rectal ampulla.

Role in human defecation

The rectum intestinum acts as a temporary storage facility for feces. As the rectal walls expand due to the materials filling it from within, stretch receptors from the nervous system located in the rectal walls stimulate the desire to defecate. If the urge is not acted upon, the material in the rectum is often returned to the colon where more water is absorbed. If defecation is delayed for a prolonged period, constipation and hardened feces results.

When the rectum becomes full the increase in intrarectal pressure forces the walls of the anal canal apart allowing the fecal matter to enter the canal. The rectum shortens as material is forced into the anal canal and peristaltic waves propel the feces out of the rectum. The internal and external sphincter allow the feces to be passed by muscles pulling the anus up over the exiting feces.

Medical procedures

For the diagnosis of certain ailments, a rectal exam may be done.

Suppositories may be inserted into the rectum as a route of administration for medicine.

The endoscopic procedures colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are performed to diagnose diseases such as cancer.

Temperature taking

Body temperature can also be taken in the rectum. Rectal temperature can be taken by inserting a mercury thermometer for 3 to 5 minutes, or a digital thermometer until it "beeps", not more than 25 mm (1 inch) into the rectum via the anus. Due to recent concerns related to mercury poisoning, the use of mercury thermometers is outlawed. Normal rectal temperature generally ranges from 36 to 38 °C (97.6 to 100.4 °F) and is about 0.5 °C (1 °F) above oral (mouth) temperature and about 1 °C (2 °F) above axillary (armpit) temperature.

Many pediatricians recommend that parents take infants and toddler's temperature in the rectum for two reasons:
* (1) Rectal temperature is the closest to core body temperature and in children that young, accuracy is critical.
* (2) Younger children are unable to cooperate when having their temperature taken by mouth (oral) which is recommended for children, ages 6 and above and for adults.

In recent years, the introduction of ear (tympanic) thermometers and changing attitudes on privacy and modesty have led some parents and doctors to discontinue taking rectal temperatures.

Sexual stimulation

Due to the proximity of the anterior wall of the rectum to the vagina in females or to the prostate in males and the shared nerves thereof, rectal stimulation or penetration can result in sexual arousal. For further information on this aspect, see anal sex.


ee also

* Gastrointestinal tract
* Rectal prolapse
* Pectinate line
* Murphy drip


External links

* - "The Female Pelvis: The Rectum"

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rectum — [ rɛktɔm ] n. m. • av. 1478; lat. méd. pour rectum intestinum « intestin droit » ♦ Portion terminale du gros intestin, faisant suite au côlon pelvien et s étendant jusqu à l anus. Étude des maladies de l anus et du rectum. ⇒ proctologie. ● rectum …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • rectum — early 15c., from L. intestinum rectum straight intestine, in contrast to the convolution of the rest of the bowels, from neut. pp. of regere to straighten (see RIGHT (Cf. right)). A loan translation of Gk. apeuthysmeon enteron, the name given to… …   Etymology dictionary

  • rectum — ► NOUN (pl. rectums or recta) ▪ the final section of the large intestine, terminating at the anus. ORIGIN from Latin rectum intestinum straight intestine …   English terms dictionary

  • rectum — [rek′təm] n. pl. rectums or recta [rek′tə] [ModL < L rectum (intestinum), lit., straight (intestine) < rectus: see RECTI ] the lowest, or last, segment of the large intestine, extending, in humans, from the sigmoid flexure to the anus: see… …   English World dictionary

  • Rectum — Rec tum ( t?m), n. [NL. (sc. intestinum), fr. L. rectus straight. See {Right}.] (Anat.) The terminal part of the large intestine; so named because supposed by the old anatomists to be straight. See Illust. under {Digestive}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rectum — Rectum, der Mastdarm, s.d …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Rectum — (lat.), der Mastdarm, s. Darm …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Rectum — (nämlich intestīnum, lat.), der Mastdarm …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Rectum — Rectum, s. Mastdarm …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Rectum — ⇒ Mastdarm …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • rectum — RÉCTUM s.n. v. rect. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”