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Development of the Abdominal Organs

The abdominal organs are derived primarily from endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation, which forms the primitive gut tube. The gut tube is divided into 3 regions: foregut, midgut, and hindgut. The foregut gives rise to the lining of the GI tract from the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy to the upper duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy, as well as the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy, gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy, and pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy. The midgut gives rise to the GI tract lining between the midduodenum and midtransverse colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy. The hindgut gives rise to the GI tract lining from the midtransverse colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy through the upper anal canal. The mesoderm Mesoderm The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube. Gastrulation and Neurulation gives rise to the muscles of the GI tract wall, connective tissue Connective tissue Connective tissues originate from embryonic mesenchyme and are present throughout the body except inside the brain and spinal cord. The main function of connective tissues is to provide structural support to organs. Connective tissues consist of cells and an extracellular matrix. Connective Tissue: Histology (including the mesenteries and omenta), and the vasculature. The ectoderm Ectoderm The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation gives rise to the nerve tissue and the lining of the lower anal canal.

Last updated: 22 Jun, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Review of Early Embryologic Development

Blastocyst Blastocyst A post-morula preimplantation mammalian embryo that develops from a 32-cell stage into a fluid-filled hollow ball of over a hundred cells. A blastocyst has two distinctive tissues. The outer layer of trophoblasts gives rise to extra-embryonic tissues. The inner cell mass gives rise to the embryonic disc and eventual embryo proper. Fertilization and First Week and bilaminar disc Bilaminar disc Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development

The morula Morula An early embryo that is a compact mass of about 16 blastomeres. It resembles a cluster of mulberries with two types of cells, outer cells and inner cells. Morula is the stage before blastula in non-mammalian animals or a blastocyst in mammals. Fertilization and First Week (ball of cells) undergoes a process called blastulation, in which a cavity begins to form. The cells then begin differentiating into outer and inner cell masses.

Implanted blastocyst

Relationship Relationship A connection, association, or involvement between 2 or more parties. Clinician–Patient Relationship of the bilaminar disc Bilaminar disc Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development, yolk sac Yolk Sac The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during embryogenesis. In reptiles and birds, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the egg yolk into the digestive tract for nourishing the embryo. In placental mammals, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of intestinal mucosa; blood cells; and germ cells. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the vitelline membrane of the egg. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development, and amniotic cavity Amniotic cavity Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development in the early embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week

Image by Lecturio. License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Trilaminar disc Trilaminar disc Gastrulation and Neurulation

The bilaminar disc Bilaminar disc Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development undergoes a process called gastrulation Gastrulation Both gastrulation and neurulation are critical events that occur during the 3rd week of embryonic development. Gastrulation is the process by which the bilaminar disc differentiates into a trilaminar disc, made up of the 3 primary germ layers: the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. Gastrulation and Neurulation to form the trilaminar disc Trilaminar disc Gastrulation and Neurulation. There are 3 layers of the trilaminar disc Trilaminar disc Gastrulation and Neurulation:

Forces the yolk sac Yolk Sac The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during embryogenesis. In reptiles and birds, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the egg yolk into the digestive tract for nourishing the embryo. In placental mammals, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of intestinal mucosa; blood cells; and germ cells. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the vitelline membrane of the egg. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development farther from the body.→ The elongating stalk connecting the yolk sac Yolk Sac The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during embryogenesis. In reptiles and birds, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the egg yolk into the digestive tract for nourishing the embryo. In placental mammals, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of intestinal mucosa; blood cells; and germ cells. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the vitelline membrane of the egg. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development to the gut tube is the vitelline duct Vitelline duct The narrow tube connecting the yolk sac with the midgut of the embryo; persistence of all or part of it in post-fetal life produces abnormalities, of which the commonest is meckel diverticulum. Meckel’s Diverticulum.

Obliteration of the vitelline duct Vitelline duct The narrow tube connecting the yolk sac with the midgut of the embryo; persistence of all or part of it in post-fetal life produces abnormalities, of which the commonest is meckel diverticulum. Meckel’s Diverticulum and yolk sac Yolk Sac The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during embryogenesis. In reptiles and birds, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the egg yolk into the digestive tract for nourishing the embryo. In placental mammals, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of intestinal mucosa; blood cells; and germ cells. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the vitelline membrane of the egg. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development

  • As the embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week folds, the yolk sac Yolk Sac The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during embryogenesis. In reptiles and birds, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the egg yolk into the digestive tract for nourishing the embryo. In placental mammals, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of intestinal mucosa; blood cells; and germ cells. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the vitelline membrane of the egg. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development is pushed farther and farther away from the body.
  • Vitelline duct Vitelline duct The narrow tube connecting the yolk sac with the midgut of the embryo; persistence of all or part of it in post-fetal life produces abnormalities, of which the commonest is meckel diverticulum. Meckel’s Diverticulum: elongating stalk that connects the midgut to the yolk sac Yolk Sac The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during embryogenesis. In reptiles and birds, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the egg yolk into the digestive tract for nourishing the embryo. In placental mammals, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of intestinal mucosa; blood cells; and germ cells. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the vitelline membrane of the egg. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development as it is pushed away
  • Growth of the amniotic cavity Amniotic cavity Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development around weeks 4–6:
    • The amniotic cavity Amniotic cavity Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development starts on the dorsal side of the embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week 
      • Grows and extends around the cranial and caudal ends of the embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week 
      • Edges of the growing cavity meet on the ventral side at the abdomen → pinch off the yolk sac Yolk Sac The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during embryogenesis. In reptiles and birds, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the egg yolk into the digestive tract for nourishing the embryo. In placental mammals, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of intestinal mucosa; blood cells; and germ cells. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the vitelline membrane of the egg. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development/obliterate the vitelline duct Vitelline duct The narrow tube connecting the yolk sac with the midgut of the embryo; persistence of all or part of it in post-fetal life produces abnormalities, of which the commonest is meckel diverticulum. Meckel’s Diverticulum
  • Clinical relevance: Failure of the vitelline duct Vitelline duct The narrow tube connecting the yolk sac with the midgut of the embryo; persistence of all or part of it in post-fetal life produces abnormalities, of which the commonest is meckel diverticulum. Meckel’s Diverticulum to obliterate results in Meckel diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease:
    • A true diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease (contains all layers of the bowel wall) 
    • Arises from the antimesenteric surface of the middle-to-distal ileum Ileum The distal and narrowest portion of the small intestine, between the jejunum and the ileocecal valve of the large intestine. Small Intestine: Anatomy, anchoring it to the anterior abdominal wall Anterior abdominal wall The anterior abdominal wall is anatomically delineated as a hexagonal area defined superiorly by the xiphoid process, laterally by the midaxillary lines, and inferiorly by the pubic symphysis. Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy.
    • May lead to fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula, volvulus Volvulus A volvulus is the twisting or axial rotation of a portion of the bowel around its mesentery. The most common site of volvulus in adults is the colon; most frequently the sigmoid volvulus. Patients typically present with symptoms of bowel obstruction such as abdominal pain, distension, vomiting, and constipation/obstipation. Volvulus, small bowel obstruction Small Bowel Obstruction Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is an interruption of the flow of the intraluminal contents through the small intestine, and is classified as mechanical (due to physical blockage) or functional (due to disruption of normal motility). The most common cause of SBO in the Western countries is post-surgical adhesions. Small bowel obstruction typically presents with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, distention, constipation, and/or obstipation. Small Bowel Obstruction, and/or necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage

Overview of Gut Tube Differentiation

Structures derived from the gut tube

The primitive gut tube is formed from endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation at the completion of lateral folding. The gut tube can initially be divided into 3 areas: foregut, midgut, and hindgut.

  • Foregut: abdominal derivatives supplied by celiac artery
    • Esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy 
    • Stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy
    • Proximal duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy (above the ampulla of Vater)
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy
    • Gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy and bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy ducts
    • Pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy
    • Structures derived from the foregut above the abdomen:
      • Primordial pharynx Pharynx The pharynx is a component of the digestive system that lies posterior to the nasal cavity, oral cavity, and larynx. The pharynx can be divided into the oropharynx, nasopharynx, and laryngopharynx. Pharyngeal muscles play an integral role in vital processes such as breathing, swallowing, and speaking. Pharynx: Anatomy and its derivatives
      • Cervical and thoracic esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
      • Respiratory tract
  • Midgut: derivatives supplied by the superior mesenteric artery Superior mesenteric artery A large vessel supplying the whole length of the small intestine except the superior part of the duodenum. It also supplies the cecum and the ascending part of the colon and about half the transverse part of the colon. It arises from the anterior surface of the aorta below the celiac artery at the level of the first lumbar vertebra. Small Intestine: Anatomy (SMA)
    • Distal duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy (below the ampulla of Vater)
    • Jejunum Jejunum The middle portion of the small intestine, between duodenum and ileum. It represents about 2/5 of the remaining portion of the small intestine below duodenum. Small Intestine: Anatomy
    • Ileum Ileum The distal and narrowest portion of the small intestine, between the jejunum and the ileocecal valve of the large intestine. Small Intestine: Anatomy
    • Cecum Cecum The blind sac or outpouching area of the large intestine that is below the entrance of the small intestine. It has a worm-like extension, the vermiform appendix. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy
    • Appendix Appendix A worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy
    • Ascending colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy
    • Proximal ⅔ of the transverse colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy
  • Hindgut: derivatives supplied by the inferior mesenteric artery Inferior mesenteric artery The artery supplying nearly all the left half of the transverse colon, the whole of the descending colon, the sigmoid colon, and the greater part of the rectum. It is smaller than the superior mesenteric artery and arises from the aorta above its bifurcation into the common iliac arteries. Small Intestine: Anatomy (IMA)
    • Distal ⅓ of the transverse colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy
    • Descending colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy
    • Sigmoid colon Sigmoid colon A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy
    • Rectum Rectum The rectum and anal canal are the most terminal parts of the lower GI tract/large intestine that form a functional unit and control defecation. Fecal continence is maintained by several important anatomic structures including rectal folds, anal valves, the sling-like puborectalis muscle, and internal and external anal sphincters. Rectum and Anal Canal: Anatomy
    • Superior portion of the anal canal
Development of the dorsal mesentery with the primitive gut tube

Development of the dorsal mesentery Mesentery A layer of the peritoneum which attaches the abdominal viscera to the abdominal wall and conveys their blood vessels and nerves. Peritoneum: Anatomy with the primitive gut tube

Image by Lecturio.

Structures derived from endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation

Key structures derived from endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation related to development of the abdominal organs:

  • Epithelial lining of the entire GI tract
  • Mucosal and submucosal glands

Structures derived from mesoderm Mesoderm The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube. Gastrulation and Neurulation

Key structures derived from mesoderm Mesoderm The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube. Gastrulation and Neurulation related to development of the abdominal organs: 

Splanchnic layer of the LPM: 

  • Alimentary canal wall (i.e., intestinal walls)
    • Muscular tissue (e.g., circular and longitudinal layers, sphincters)
    • Connective tissue Connective tissue Connective tissues originate from embryonic mesenchyme and are present throughout the body except inside the brain and spinal cord. The main function of connective tissues is to provide structural support to organs. Connective tissues consist of cells and an extracellular matrix. Connective Tissue: Histology
  • Vasculature
  • Visceral peritoneum Visceral peritoneum Peritoneum: Anatomy
  • Mesenteries:
    • Dorsal and ventral mesogastrium → greater and lesser omentum Omentum Peritoneum: Anatomy, falciform ligament Falciform Ligament Liver: Anatomy
    • Mesentery Mesentery A layer of the peritoneum which attaches the abdominal viscera to the abdominal wall and conveys their blood vessels and nerves. Peritoneum: Anatomy of the small intestine Small intestine The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy
    • Transverse and sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus mesocolon
    • Numerous named abdominal ligaments

Somatic layer of the LPM: parietal Parietal One of a pair of irregularly shaped quadrilateral bones situated between the frontal bone and occipital bone, which together form the sides of the cranium. Skull: Anatomy peritoneum Peritoneum The peritoneum is a serous membrane lining the abdominopelvic cavity. This lining is formed by connective tissue and originates from the mesoderm. The membrane lines both the abdominal walls (as parietal peritoneum) and all of the visceral organs (as visceral peritoneum). Peritoneum: Anatomy

Structures derived from ectoderm Ectoderm The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation

Key structures derived from ectoderm Ectoderm The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation related to development of the abdominal organs: 

  • Neural crest Neural crest The two longitudinal ridges along the primitive streak appearing near the end of gastrulation during development of nervous system (neurulation). The ridges are formed by folding of neural plate. Between the ridges is a neural groove which deepens as the fold become elevated. When the folds meet at midline, the groove becomes a closed tube, the neural tube. Hirschsprung Disease cells: enteric nerve plexus (i.e., myenteric and submucosal plexuses)
  • Nerves: innervate the abdominal organs
  • Membranes:
    • At the cranial and caudal ends, the ectoderm Ectoderm The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation and endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation meet (with no mesoderm Mesoderm The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube. Gastrulation and Neurulation between) forming membranes that will ultimately rupture, becoming the openings of the GI tract
    • Cranial end: oropharyngeal membrane → mouth
    • Caudal end: cloacal membrane → anus
  • Epithelium Epithelium The epithelium is a complex of specialized cellular organizations arranged into sheets and lining cavities and covering the surfaces of the body. The cells exhibit polarity, having an apical and a basal pole. Structures important for the epithelial integrity and function involve the basement membrane, the semipermeable sheet on which the cells rest, and interdigitations, as well as cellular junctions. Surface Epithelium: Histology: lines the distal anal canal

Foregut Derivatives, Omenta, and Spleen

Esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy

Separation from the respiratory system:

  • Lung bud Lung bud Development of the Respiratory System (respiratory diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease): 
    • Buds off of the ventral side of the foregut around week 4
    • Simultaneously grows out (ventrally) and down (caudally)
    • Includes both endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation and surrounding splanchnic LPM
  • Tracheoesophageal groove Tracheoesophageal groove Development of the Respiratory System (or ridge):
  • The tracheoesophageal septum creates 2 separate tubes:
    • Esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy (posteriorly, from the original foregut)
    • Trachea Trachea The trachea is a tubular structure that forms part of the lower respiratory tract. The trachea is continuous superiorly with the larynx and inferiorly becomes the bronchial tree within the lungs. The trachea consists of a support frame of semicircular, or C-shaped, rings made out of hyaline cartilage and reinforced by collagenous connective tissue. Trachea: Anatomy (anteriorly, from the lung bud Lung bud Development of the Respiratory System)
  • Clinical relevance: 
    • Tracheoesophageal fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula (TEF): occurs when the tracheoesophageal grooves fail to fully close in the midline 
    • Esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia is a congenital anomaly in which the upper esophagus is separated from the lower esophagus and ends in a blind pouch. The condition may be isolated or associated with tracheoesophageal fistula, which is an abnormal connection between the trachea and esophagus. Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula: portions of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy fail to form; often coexists with TEF

Growth and descent:

  • Esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy lengthens and descends together with the heart and lungs Lungs Lungs are the main organs of the respiratory system. Lungs are paired viscera located in the thoracic cavity and are composed of spongy tissue. The primary function of the lungs is to oxygenate blood and eliminate CO2. Lungs: Anatomy
  • Completes development by 7th week
Embryonic development of the bronchial tree - intestinal epithelium

Embryonic development of the bronchial tree Development of the Bronchial Tree Lung development involves 5 stages: embryonic, pseudoglandular, canalicular, saccular, and alveolar. The inner respiratory epithelium arises from the endoderm, and the cartilage, bronchial muscles, connective tissue, and vasculature all arise from the mesoderm. Development of the Respiratory System

Image by Lecturio. License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy

  • Development begins around the 4th week
  • Fusiform dilation of the foregut: site of primordial stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy
  • The lengthening esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy places the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy below the diaphragm Diaphragm The diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity. The diaphragm consists of muscle fibers and a large central tendon, which is divided into right and left parts. As the primary muscle of inspiration, the diaphragm contributes 75% of the total inspiratory muscle force. Diaphragm: Anatomy
  • Posterior wall grows more quickly than anterior wall → develops a C shape
  • 90-degree rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays clockwise around longitudinal axis Axis The second cervical vertebra. Vertebral Column: Anatomy:
    • Greater curvature Greater curvature Stomach: Anatomy (dorsal):
      • Rotates anteriorly and to the left
      • Left vagus nerve Vagus nerve The 10th cranial nerve. The vagus is a mixed nerve which contains somatic afferents (from skin in back of the ear and the external auditory meatus), visceral afferents (from the pharynx, larynx, thorax, and abdomen), parasympathetic efferents (to the thorax and abdomen), and efferents to striated muscle (of the larynx and pharynx). Pharynx: Anatomy innervates anterior wall
    • Lesser curvature Lesser curvature Stomach: Anatomy (ventral):
      • Rotates posteriorly and to the right
      • Right vagus nerve Vagus nerve The 10th cranial nerve. The vagus is a mixed nerve which contains somatic afferents (from skin in back of the ear and the external auditory meatus), visceral afferents (from the pharynx, larynx, thorax, and abdomen), parasympathetic efferents (to the thorax and abdomen), and efferents to striated muscle (of the larynx and pharynx). Pharynx: Anatomy innervates posterior wall
  • Smaller rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays clockwise around the anteroposterior axis Axis The second cervical vertebra. Vertebral Column: Anatomy:
    • Cardiac portion of the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy moves down and to the left
    • Pyloric portion moves up and to the right

Omenta

The greater and lesser omenta are formed from the dorsal and ventral mesogastrium (of mesodermal origin). As they rotate with the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy, they create the greater and lesser sacs.

Dorsal mesogastrium:

  • Suspends stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy from the dorsal wall
  • Originally located in the median plane
  • Moved to the left during 90-degree longitudinal rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays
  • Creates a space posterior to the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy called the lesser sac (i.e., omental bursa)
  • Forms several important structures:
    • After rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays of the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy, bulges down to form the greater omentum Omentum Peritoneum: Anatomy
    • Gastrosplenic ligament Gastrosplenic ligament Spleen: Anatomy: connects the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy and spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy
    • Splenorenal ligament Splenorenal ligament Spleen: Anatomy: connects the spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy to the posterior abdominal wall Posterior abdominal wall The posterior abdominal wall is a complex musculoskeletal structure that houses the abdominal aorta, the inferior vena cava, as well as important retroperitoneal organs, like the kidneys, renal glands, pancreas, and duodenum. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy (near the kidney)
  • Anterior to the greater omentum Omentum Peritoneum: Anatomy is the greater sac
  • Structures developing within the dorsal mesogastrium:
    • Spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy
    • Pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy

Ventral mesogastrium:

  • Attached to the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy, duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy, liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy, and ventral abdominal wall Abdominal wall The outer margins of the abdomen, extending from the osteocartilaginous thoracic cage to the pelvis. Though its major part is muscular, the abdominal wall consists of at least seven layers: the skin, subcutaneous fat, deep fascia; abdominal muscles, transversalis fascia, extraperitoneal fat, and the parietal peritoneum. Surgical Anatomy of the Abdomen
  • Originally located in the median plane
  • Moved to the right during 90-degree longitudinal rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays 
  • Closes off the lesser sac between the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy and liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy
  • Forms 2 primary structures:
    • Lesser omentum Omentum Peritoneum: Anatomy: connects the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy and liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy
    • Falciform ligament Falciform Ligament Liver: Anatomy: connects the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy and the anterior abdominal wall Anterior abdominal wall The anterior abdominal wall is anatomically delineated as a hexagonal area defined superiorly by the xiphoid process, laterally by the midaxillary lines, and inferiorly by the pubic symphysis. Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy
  • Structures developing within the ventral mesogastrium:
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy
    • Gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy
    • Bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy ducts
Rotation of the stomach and gastric mesenteries

Rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays of the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy and gastric mesenteries

Image by Lecturio.

Duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy

  • Development begins in the 4th week
  • Above the ampulla of Vater: derived from caudal part of the foregut → supplied by the celiac artery
  • Below the ampulla of Vater: derived from cranial part of the midgut → supplied by SMA
  • Elongates and forms C-shaped loop
  • Joins together with the developing pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy attached to the posterior body wall
  • Duodenal obliteration and recanalization:
    • Week 5: rapid cell proliferation in its walls leads to complete obstruction of the duodenal lumen
    • By the end of week 8: 
      • Vacuoles form within the duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy 
      • Vacuoles grow and merge → lumen recanalization
    • Clinical relevance: failure of the lumen to fully recanalize results in either:
Invertogram showing high arm and ap view showing duodenal atresia

Double-bubble sign on radiography (invertography) indicating duodenal obstruction:
The smaller bubble on the individual’s right is air in the duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy, and the larger bubble on the left is air in the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy.

Image: “Invertogram showing high ARM Arm The arm, or “upper arm” in common usage, is the region of the upper limb that extends from the shoulder to the elbow joint and connects inferiorly to the forearm through the cubital fossa. It is divided into 2 fascial compartments (anterior and posterior). Arm: Anatomy and AP view showing duodenal atresia Duodenal atresia Failed recanalization of the duodenum during embryonal development. Congenital Duodenal Obstruction” by Department of Pediatric Surgery, Gauhati Medical College, GUWAHATI, ASSAM, INDIA. License: CC BY 3.0

Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy and biliary ducts

  • Development begins in the 3rd‒4th week
  • Appears from the caudal portion of the foregut as the hepatic diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease, which goes on to form the:
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy ( endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation differentiates into hepatocytes Hepatocytes The main structural component of the liver. They are specialized epithelial cells that are organized into interconnected plates called lobules. Liver: Anatomy)
    • Intrahepatic ducts
    • Extrahepatic portions of the hepatic ducts
  • As the hepatic diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease enlarges, the connection to the duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy narrows → common bile duct common bile duct The largest bile duct. It is formed by the junction of the cystic duct and the common hepatic duct. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy
  • A smaller bud grows off the caudal side of the hepatic diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease:
    • Forms the gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy
    • Connection between the caudal bud and the gallbladder Gallbladder The gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac, located directly beneath the liver, that sits on top of the superior part of the duodenum. The primary functions of the gallbladder include concentrating and storing up to 50 mL of bile. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy cystic duct Cystic duct The duct that is connected to the gallbladder and allows the emptying of bile into the common bile duct. Cholecystitis 
  • The hepatic diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease grows into the ventral mesogastrium.
  • Weeks 5–9: 
    • Hematopoietic stem cells Hematopoietic stem cells Progenitor cells from which all blood cells derived. They are found primarily in the bone marrow and also in small numbers in the peripheral blood. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis (mesodermal origin) migrate into the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy:
      • Hematopoiesis Hematopoiesis The development and formation of various types of blood cells. Hematopoiesis can take place in the bone marrow (medullary) or outside the bone marrow (extramedullary hematopoiesis). Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis begins 
      • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy is the primary site of hematopoiesis Hematopoiesis The development and formation of various types of blood cells. Hematopoiesis can take place in the bone marrow (medullary) or outside the bone marrow (extramedullary hematopoiesis). Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis up until about 28 weeks, when the primary job is taken over by the bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow.
    • Synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) of bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy acid 
  • Week 12: beginning of bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy secretion Secretion Coagulation Studies by hepatocytes Hepatocytes The main structural component of the liver. They are specialized epithelial cells that are organized into interconnected plates called lobules. Liver: Anatomy
Model of the pancreatic ducts

Anatomy of the biliary and pancreatic ducts

Image by BioDigital, edited by Lecturio

Pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy

  • Development begins in the 4th week
  • Develops primarily from a dorsal pancreatic bud off the foregut:
    • Accessory pancreatic duct Accessory pancreatic duct Pancreas: Anatomy
    • Part of the pancreatic head
    • Body 
    • Tail of the pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy
  • A smaller ventral pancreatic bud contributes to the: 
  • Both endocrine and exocrine cells arise from the pluripotent endoderm-derived cells of the pancreatic bud
  • Week 7: main pancreatic duct Main pancreatic duct Pancreas: Anatomy and accessory pancreatic ducts fuse
  • By week 13: alpha, beta, and delta cells present in islets

Spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy

  • Development begins in the 5th week
  • Derived from mesenchymal cells (i.e., from mesoderm Mesoderm The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube. Gastrulation and Neurulation, not the endoderm-derived foregut)
  • Forms from mesenchymal buds off the dorsal mesogastrium
  • Buds fuse together, forming the spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy.
  • Lobulates during fetal life; lobules Lobules Breasts: Anatomy disappear before birth.
  • Develops within the dorsal mesogastrium
  • Supplied by celiac artery

Midgut and Hindgut Derivatives

The midgut develops into the lining of the GI tract from the distal duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy (below the ampulla of Vater) to the midtransverse colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy. The hindgut develops into the GI tract from the distal ⅓ of the transverse colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy through the anus.

Midgut milestones

  • Cranial portion: grows rapidly and forms small intestinal loop
  • Develops cecal swelling Swelling Inflammation:
  • Week 5: obliteration of the vitelline duct Vitelline duct The narrow tube connecting the yolk sac with the midgut of the embryo; persistence of all or part of it in post-fetal life produces abnormalities, of which the commonest is meckel diverticulum. Meckel’s Diverticulum ( yolk sac Yolk Sac The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during embryogenesis. In reptiles and birds, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the egg yolk into the digestive tract for nourishing the embryo. In placental mammals, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of intestinal mucosa; blood cells; and germ cells. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the vitelline membrane of the egg. Embryoblast and Trophoblast Development is pinched off from the midgut)
  • Week 6: physiologic herniation Herniation Omphalocele of the midgut through the umbilicus
    • The midgut naturally herniates through the umbilical ring.
    • Creates more space within the embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week for the the developing abdominal organs (especially the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy)
  • Weeks 6–10: 
    • Rapid growth of the midgut occurs outside the embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week
    • Rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays:
      • Midgut rotates 270 degrees counterclockwise around SMA.
      • Pulls the small intestine Small intestine The small intestine is the longest part of the GI tract, extending from the pyloric orifice of the stomach to the ileocecal junction. The small intestine is the major organ responsible for chemical digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is divided into 3 segments: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Small Intestine: Anatomy into mature anatomic position: jejunum Jejunum The middle portion of the small intestine, between duodenum and ileum. It represents about 2/5 of the remaining portion of the small intestine below duodenum. Small Intestine: Anatomy begins in the LUQ 
      • Pulls the large intestine Large intestine The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy into its mature anatomic position: upside-down U shape surrounding the small intestines
  • Week 10: midgut returns to the abdominal cavity
    • Growing abdominal cavity creates enough space for the developing midgut
    • Clinical relevance: Failure of the midgut to reenter the abdomen results in an omphalocele Omphalocele Omphalocele is a congenital anterior abdominal wall defect in which the intestines are covered by peritoneum and amniotic membranes. The condition results from the failure of the midgut to return to the abdominal cavity by 10 weeks’ gestation. Omphalocele (a congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis anterior abdominal wall Anterior abdominal wall The anterior abdominal wall is anatomically delineated as a hexagonal area defined superiorly by the xiphoid process, laterally by the midaxillary lines, and inferiorly by the pubic symphysis. Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy defect in which the intestines are covered by peritoneum Peritoneum The peritoneum is a serous membrane lining the abdominopelvic cavity. This lining is formed by connective tissue and originates from the mesoderm. The membrane lines both the abdominal walls (as parietal peritoneum) and all of the visceral organs (as visceral peritoneum). Peritoneum: Anatomy and amniotic membranes).
Normal process of herniation during embryologic development

Diagram showing the normal process of intestinal rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays and herniation Herniation Omphalocele during embryologic development
A: The midgut (multicolored loop) before herniation Herniation Omphalocele.
B1–B3: As it grows rapidly, the midgut herniates through the umbilical ring and starts rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays.
C: The midgut returns to the abdominal cavity.

Image by Lecturio.

Hindgut milestones

The hindgut develops simultaneously and in close association with the urogenital system.

  • Cloaca: 
    • Distal portion of the hindgut
    • Adjacent to the “outside” of the developing embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week at the cloacal membrane, which:
    • Early in development, empties into a drainage tube called the allantois 
  • Allantois:
    • Drains both gut tube and developing urinary system early 
    • Travels through umbilical cord Umbilical cord The flexible rope-like structure that connects a developing fetus to the placenta in mammals. The cord contains blood vessels which carry oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the fetus and waste products away from the fetus. Placenta, Umbilical Cord, and Amniotic Cavity 
    • Called the urachus later in development
    • Ultimately obliterates, becoming the median umbilical ligament along the internal anterior abdominal wall Anterior abdominal wall The anterior abdominal wall is anatomically delineated as a hexagonal area defined superiorly by the xiphoid process, laterally by the midaxillary lines, and inferiorly by the pubic symphysis. Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy
    • Clinical relevance: incomplete obliteration can lead to a urachal fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula (infants may leak urine from the umbilicus at birth)
  • Weeks 4‒7: cloaca divided by a growing urorectal septum:
    • Starts at the superior/proximal portion of the cloaca → grows distally until it reaches the outside of the body, where it becomes the perineal body
    • Separates the cloaca into 2 structures:
      • Urogenital sinus Urogenital Sinus Congenital Malformations of the Female Reproductive System (anterior/superior): connects to the ureters Ureters One of a pair of thick-walled tubes that transports urine from the kidney pelvis to the urinary bladder. Urinary Tract: Anatomy; develops into the bladder Bladder A musculomembranous sac along the urinary tract. Urine flows from the kidneys into the bladder via the ureters, and is held there until urination. Pyelonephritis and Perinephric Abscess, prostate Prostate The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The gland surrounds the bladder neck and a portion of the urethra. The prostate is an exocrine gland that produces a weakly acidic secretion, which accounts for roughly 20% of the seminal fluid. (males), and urethra Urethra A tube that transports urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body in both the sexes. It also has a reproductive function in the male by providing a passage for sperm. Urinary Tract: Anatomy
      • Anal canal (posterior/inferior)
    • Clinical relevance: Failure of the anorectal septum to completely divide the cloaca can result in fistulas between the urogenital system and the anorectum.
  • Anal pit:
  • Hindgut/endoderm-derived: proximal ⅔ of the anal canal, lined by columnar epithelial cells
  • Ectoderm-derived: distal ⅓ of the anal canal, lined by stratified squamous epithelial cells
  • Hindgut is supplied by the IMA
Embryo between weeks 4 and 7

Between weeks 4 and 7, the urorectal septum begins growing into the cloaca, starting at its proximal end and growing distally until it reaches the outside of the embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week, fully separating the cloaca into the urogenital sinus Urogenital Sinus Congenital Malformations of the Female Reproductive System and the anal canal.

Image by Lecturio.

Clinical Relevance

  • Gastroschisis Gastroschisis Gastroschisis is a congenital abdominal wall defect characterized by the complete lack of closure of the abdominal musculature. A portion of intestine does not return to the abdominal cavity, thereby remaining in its early embryonic herniated state but with no coverings. Gastroschisis (see Gastroschisis Gastroschisis Gastroschisis is a congenital abdominal wall defect characterized by the complete lack of closure of the abdominal musculature. A portion of intestine does not return to the abdominal cavity, thereby remaining in its early embryonic herniated state but with no coverings. Gastroschisis): defect caused by incomplete lateral folding of trilaminar embryo Embryo The entity of a developing mammal, generally from the cleavage of a zygote to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the fetus. Fertilization and First Week, resulting in an incomplete “tube.” This incomplete tube results in a defect in the abdominal wall Abdominal wall The outer margins of the abdomen, extending from the osteocartilaginous thoracic cage to the pelvis. Though its major part is muscular, the abdominal wall consists of at least seven layers: the skin, subcutaneous fat, deep fascia; abdominal muscles, transversalis fascia, extraperitoneal fat, and the parietal peritoneum. Surgical Anatomy of the Abdomen; the intestines will be free floating in the amniotic sac, not covered by peritoneum Peritoneum The peritoneum is a serous membrane lining the abdominopelvic cavity. This lining is formed by connective tissue and originates from the mesoderm. The membrane lines both the abdominal walls (as parietal peritoneum) and all of the visceral organs (as visceral peritoneum). Peritoneum: Anatomy
  • Omphalocele Omphalocele Omphalocele is a congenital anterior abdominal wall defect in which the intestines are covered by peritoneum and amniotic membranes. The condition results from the failure of the midgut to return to the abdominal cavity by 10 weeks’ gestation. Omphalocele: failure of midgut to reenter abdomen after physiologic herniation Herniation Omphalocele. This failure results in a congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis anterior abdominal wall Anterior abdominal wall The anterior abdominal wall is anatomically delineated as a hexagonal area defined superiorly by the xiphoid process, laterally by the midaxillary lines, and inferiorly by the pubic symphysis. Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy defect where the intestines are covered by peritoneum Peritoneum The peritoneum is a serous membrane lining the abdominopelvic cavity. This lining is formed by connective tissue and originates from the mesoderm. The membrane lines both the abdominal walls (as parietal peritoneum) and all of the visceral organs (as visceral peritoneum). Peritoneum: Anatomy and amniotic membranes.
  • Esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia is a congenital anomaly in which the upper esophagus is separated from the lower esophagus and ends in a blind pouch. The condition may be isolated or associated with tracheoesophageal fistula, which is an abnormal connection between the trachea and esophagus. Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula: portions of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy fail to fully form. Esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia is a congenital anomaly in which the upper esophagus is separated from the lower esophagus and ends in a blind pouch. The condition may be isolated or associated with tracheoesophageal fistula, which is an abnormal connection between the trachea and esophagus. Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula often coexists with a tracheoesophageal fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula.
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula: connection between the trachea Trachea The trachea is a tubular structure that forms part of the lower respiratory tract. The trachea is continuous superiorly with the larynx and inferiorly becomes the bronchial tree within the lungs. The trachea consists of a support frame of semicircular, or C-shaped, rings made out of hyaline cartilage and reinforced by collagenous connective tissue. Trachea: Anatomy and esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy. This fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula occurs when the tracheoesophageal grooves fail to fully close in the midline (which should normally separate the trachea Trachea The trachea is a tubular structure that forms part of the lower respiratory tract. The trachea is continuous superiorly with the larynx and inferiorly becomes the bronchial tree within the lungs. The trachea consists of a support frame of semicircular, or C-shaped, rings made out of hyaline cartilage and reinforced by collagenous connective tissue. Trachea: Anatomy from the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy). Tracheoesophageal fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula is often associated with esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia Esophageal atresia is a congenital anomaly in which the upper esophagus is separated from the lower esophagus and ends in a blind pouch. The condition may be isolated or associated with tracheoesophageal fistula, which is an abnormal connection between the trachea and esophagus. Esophageal Atresia and Tracheoesophageal Fistula. Multiple different anatomic variations are possible.
  • Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the pyloric sphincter muscle. The condition is the most common cause of gastrointestinal obstruction in infants. Affected newborns typically present after the third to fifth week of life with progressive non-bilious vomiting and a firm, olive-like mass in the epigastrium. Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis: narrowing of the pylorus Pylorus The region between the sharp indentation at the lower third of the stomach (incisura angularis) and the junction of the pylorus with the duodenum. Pyloric antral glands contain mucus-secreting cells and gastrin-secreting endocrine cells (g cells). Stomach: Anatomy of the stomach Stomach The stomach is a muscular sac in the upper left portion of the abdomen that plays a critical role in digestion. The stomach develops from the foregut and connects the esophagus with the duodenum. Structurally, the stomach is C-shaped and forms a greater and lesser curvature and is divided grossly into regions: the cardia, fundus, body, and pylorus. Stomach: Anatomy due to the thickening of its pyloric sphincter muscle. Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the pyloric sphincter muscle. The condition is the most common cause of gastrointestinal obstruction in infants. Affected newborns typically present after the third to fifth week of life with progressive non-bilious vomiting and a firm, olive-like mass in the epigastrium. Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis presents clinically with nonbilious vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia and an olive-shaped mass Mass Three-dimensional lesion that occupies a space within the breast Imaging of the Breast in the epigastric region Epigastric region Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy.
  • Congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis defects of duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy: failure of the duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy to fully recanalize, leading to either stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) (narrowing) or obstruction. Duodenal atresia Duodenal atresia Failed recanalization of the duodenum during embryonal development. Congenital Duodenal Obstruction presents with bilious vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, and a double-bubble sign can be seen on x-ray X-ray Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard x-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength x-rays. Soft x-rays or grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the x-ray spectrum overlaps the gamma rays wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and x-rays is based on their radiation source. Pulmonary Function Tests; this defect is associated with Down syndrome Down syndrome Down syndrome, or trisomy 21, is the most common chromosomal aberration and the most frequent genetic cause of developmental delay. Both boys and girls are affected and have characteristic craniofacial and musculoskeletal features, as well as multiple medical anomalies involving the cardiac, gastrointestinal, ocular, and auditory systems. Down syndrome (Trisomy 21)
  • Annular pancreas Annular pancreas Incomplete recanalization of the duodenum during embryonal development. Congenital Duodenal Obstruction (see Pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy): results from the growth of the pancreatic bud around the duodenum Duodenum The shortest and widest portion of the small intestine adjacent to the pylorus of the stomach. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers. Small Intestine: Anatomy, which forms a pancreatic ring. May cause duodenal obstruction. Women are affected more frequently than men. 
  • Pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy divisum (see Pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy): occurs when the ventral and dorsal ducts of the pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy fail to fuse together to form the main pancreatic duct Main pancreatic duct Pancreas: Anatomy during the 8th week. May predispose individual to chronic pancreatic pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Accessory spleens (see Spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy): numerous splenic masses with functioning splenic tissue, which can occur when splenic buds fail to fully fuse. An accessory spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy usually exists near the hilum Hilum Lungs: Anatomy of the spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy or the tail of the pancreas Pancreas The pancreas lies mostly posterior to the stomach and extends across the posterior abdominal wall from the duodenum on the right to the spleen on the left. This organ has both exocrine and endocrine tissue. Pancreas: Anatomy.
  • Intestinal malrotation Intestinal malrotation Intestinal malrotation is a congenital anomaly that results from failure of the GI tract to undergo normal rotation around the mesenteric vessels during embryologic development. This condition can result in several anatomic patterns characterized by abnormal location and attachments of the abdominal cavity’s intestines. Intestinal Malrotation: failure of the GI tract to undergo normal rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays around the mesenteric vessels during embryologic development. Intestinal malrotation Intestinal malrotation Intestinal malrotation is a congenital anomaly that results from failure of the GI tract to undergo normal rotation around the mesenteric vessels during embryologic development. This condition can result in several anatomic patterns characterized by abnormal location and attachments of the abdominal cavity’s intestines. Intestinal Malrotation can result in a number of anatomic patterns characterized by abnormal location and attachments of the intestines within the abdominal cavity. These anomalies can be clinically silent or present with a number of complications, the most catastrophic of which is midgut volvulus Volvulus A volvulus is the twisting or axial rotation of a portion of the bowel around its mesentery. The most common site of volvulus in adults is the colon; most frequently the sigmoid volvulus. Patients typically present with symptoms of bowel obstruction such as abdominal pain, distension, vomiting, and constipation/obstipation. Volvulus
  • Volvulus Volvulus A volvulus is the twisting or axial rotation of a portion of the bowel around its mesentery. The most common site of volvulus in adults is the colon; most frequently the sigmoid volvulus. Patients typically present with symptoms of bowel obstruction such as abdominal pain, distension, vomiting, and constipation/obstipation. Volvulus: twisting or axial Axial Computed Tomography (CT) rotation Rotation Motion of an object in which either one or more points on a line are fixed. It is also the motion of a particle about a fixed point. X-rays of a portion of bowel around its mesentery Mesentery A layer of the peritoneum which attaches the abdominal viscera to the abdominal wall and conveys their blood vessels and nerves. Peritoneum: Anatomy. The most common site of volvulus Volvulus A volvulus is the twisting or axial rotation of a portion of the bowel around its mesentery. The most common site of volvulus in adults is the colon; most frequently the sigmoid volvulus. Patients typically present with symptoms of bowel obstruction such as abdominal pain, distension, vomiting, and constipation/obstipation. Volvulus encountered in adults is the colon Colon The large intestines constitute the last portion of the digestive system. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix, colon (with ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid segments), rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the colon is to remove water and compact the stool prior to expulsion from the body via the rectum and anal canal. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy. Presentation is typically with symptoms of bowel obstruction Bowel obstruction Any impairment, arrest, or reversal of the normal flow of intestinal contents toward the anal canal. Ascaris/Ascariasis, such as abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, distention, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia and constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation/ obstipation Obstipation Large Bowel Obstruction
  • Meckel diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease: failure of the vitelline duct Vitelline duct The narrow tube connecting the yolk sac with the midgut of the embryo; persistence of all or part of it in post-fetal life produces abnormalities, of which the commonest is meckel diverticulum. Meckel’s Diverticulum to obliterate, resulting in a “true” diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease, meaning that the outpouching from the ileum Ileum The distal and narrowest portion of the small intestine, between the jejunum and the ileocecal valve of the large intestine. Small Intestine: Anatomy contains all layers of the bowel wall. (In a “false” diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease, only the mucosa and submucosa protrude.) These diverticula arise from the antimesenteric surface of the middle-to-distal ileum Ileum The distal and narrowest portion of the small intestine, between the jejunum and the ileocecal valve of the large intestine. Small Intestine: Anatomy, anchoring it to the anterior abdominal wall Anterior abdominal wall The anterior abdominal wall is anatomically delineated as a hexagonal area defined superiorly by the xiphoid process, laterally by the midaxillary lines, and inferiorly by the pubic symphysis. Anterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy, and may lead to a fistula Fistula Abnormal communication most commonly seen between two internal organs, or between an internal organ and the surface of the body. Anal Fistula, volvulus Volvulus A volvulus is the twisting or axial rotation of a portion of the bowel around its mesentery. The most common site of volvulus in adults is the colon; most frequently the sigmoid volvulus. Patients typically present with symptoms of bowel obstruction such as abdominal pain, distension, vomiting, and constipation/obstipation. Volvulus, small bowel obstruction Small Bowel Obstruction Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is an interruption of the flow of the intraluminal contents through the small intestine, and is classified as mechanical (due to physical blockage) or functional (due to disruption of normal motility). The most common cause of SBO in the Western countries is post-surgical adhesions. Small bowel obstruction typically presents with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, distention, constipation, and/or obstipation. Small Bowel Obstruction, and/or necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage.

References

  1. Talathi, S., Zimmerman, R. (2021). Anatomy, abdomen and pelvis, pancreas. StatPearls. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://www.statpearls.com/articlelibrary/viewarticle/26567/ 
  2. Hundt, M., Wu, C.Y., Young, M. (2021). Anatomy, abdomen and pelvis, biliary ducts. StatPearls. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459246/
  3. Mitchell, B., Biol, R. (2009). The digestive system. Chapter 7 of Embryology, 2nd ed. Churchill Livingstone. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780702032257500105 
  4. University of Michigan Medical School. (n.a.) Anatomy: digestive system. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://www.med.umich.edu/lrc/coursepages/m1/embryology/embryo/10digestivesystem.htm 
  5. Mazziotti, M. (2021). Congenital anomalies of esophagus. Medscape. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/934420-overview

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