During the period of thirty-five years since Professor Roentgen discovered the x-rays and Howard Kelly introduced standard rectoscopes, refinements in the technic of roentgenology and improvements in proctoscopes havemade these two agents prime factors in the diagnosis of gastro-intestinal diseases. Each method has its indications, advantages and limitations, and frequently the two are mutually helpful in reaching a correct diagnosis.
The roentgen ray has a wide range of applicability and has proved its value in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal lesions, notably in the movable portions of the tract, as the stomach and colon; in demonstrating position, contour, function, points of stasis and defects indicating pathologic changes. In the relatively fixed rectum and distal sigmoid colon, however, which are situated largely within the bony pelvic girdle, the x-rays are of comparatively limited value. Prominent defects are that: