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The diagnosis of diseases of the colon is largely dependent on the findings revealed by roentgenographic examination of the barium-filled colon and by sigmoidoscopy. The barium enema can usually be relied upon to visualize the colon down to the region of the rectosigmoid; however, the colon is notorious for its tendency to have redundant, overlapping loops in the region of the sigmoid, frequently making it difficult to examine this area adequately. Since the high incidence of lesions in the vicinity of the rectosigmoid is well known, the cliniċian often feels uneasy about accepting a normal roentgenogram report when the patient has symptoms suggestive of disease in this area. With the 10 in. (25 cm.) sigmoidoscope, the rectum and a portion of the distal sigmoid can usually be visualized. The knowledge of just how much of the sigmoid is seen through the sigmoidoscope when one is evaluating the barium enema films
Shatz BA, Freitas EL. AREA OF COLON VISUALIZED THROUGH THE SIGMOIDOSCOPE. JAMA. 1954;156(7):717-719. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950070045009f