Anatomical study of the length of the human intestine

Surg Radiol Anat. 2002 Dec;24(5):290-4. doi: 10.1007/s00276-002-0057-y. Epub 2002 Oct 10.


Although preoperative assessment of the length of the intestine may be of interest to avoid postoperative consequences of large intestinal resection, measurements of the intestine are quite rare and results variable in the literature. This anatomical study aimed to assess the length of the different intestinal segments, their variation and their correlation with sex, age, weight and height. Two hundred non-fixed adult cadavers (100 men, 100 women) who willingly gave their bodies for scientific purposes were studied. The post mortem average length of the whole intestine was 795.5+/-129 cm and was significantly longer in men and in young subjects. It was correlated with the subject's weight but not height. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the factor showing the strongest correlation with intestinal length was body weight. This latter parameter may be useful in the preoperative assessment of intestinal length.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Anthropometry*
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestines / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Characteristics