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Peritoneum: Anatomy

The peritoneum is a serous membrane lining the abdominopelvic cavity. This lining is formed by 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 and originates from the mesoderm Mesoderm The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube. Gastrulation and Neurulation. The membrane lines both the abdominal walls (as parietal peritoneum Parietal peritoneum A membrane of squamous epithelial cells, the mesothelial cells, covered by apical microvilli that allow rapid absorption of fluid and particles in the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum is divided into parietal and visceral components. The parietal peritoneum covers the inside of the abdominal wall. The visceral peritoneum covers the intraperitoneal organs. The double-layered peritoneum forms the mesentery that suspends these organs from the abdominal wall. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy) and all of the visceral organs (as visceral peritoneum). The peritoneum supports and suspends the organs within the abdominal cavity and provides an important conduit for the neurovasculature supplying these organs. There are several peritoneal folds, known as mesenteries, omenta, and ligaments. The greater and lesser omenta divide the peritoneal cavity into greater and lesser sacs, which are important anatomic spaces within the cavity. Organs located behind the posterior parietal peritoneum Parietal peritoneum A membrane of squamous epithelial cells, the mesothelial cells, covered by apical microvilli that allow rapid absorption of fluid and particles in the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum is divided into parietal and visceral components. The parietal peritoneum covers the inside of the abdominal wall. The visceral peritoneum covers the intraperitoneal organs. The double-layered peritoneum forms the mesentery that suspends these organs from the abdominal wall. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy are known as retroperitoneal, while organs that protrude into the cavity and are fully covered by visceral peritoneum are known as intraperitoneal.

Last updated: Aug 11, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

The peritoneum is a serous membrane lining the abdominopelvic cavity and covering its organs. 

  • Peritoneal cavity: the cavity encased by the peritoneal membrane
  • Function: 
    • Supports and suspends the organs in their proper location within the abdominopelvic cavity
    • Allows organs to move freely and smoothly
    • Serves as a protective conduit for the neurovasculature supplying organs suspended within the cavity (e.g., protects arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology running from the aorta Aorta The main trunk of the systemic arteries. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy to the intestines)

Development

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

  • The lateral plate mesoderm Mesoderm The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube. Gastrulation and Neurulation splits to form 2 layers separated by an intraembryonic coelom:
    • Splanchnic layer (also known as the visceral layer)
      • Adjacent to the endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation (which gives rise to the primitive gut tube)
      • Gives rise to visceral peritoneum covering the internal organs
      • Gives rise to mesentery, connecting the gut tube to the abdominal walls
    • Somatic layer (also known as the 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 layer) 
      • Adjacent to surface ectoderm Ectoderm The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation
      • Gives rise to parietal peritoneum Parietal peritoneum A membrane of squamous epithelial cells, the mesothelial cells, covered by apical microvilli that allow rapid absorption of fluid and particles in the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum is divided into parietal and visceral components. The parietal peritoneum covers the inside of the abdominal wall. The visceral peritoneum covers the intraperitoneal organs. The double-layered peritoneum forms the mesentery that suspends these organs from the abdominal wall. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy lining 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
  • Mesenteries suspend the primitive gut tube within the developing abdominal cavity:
    • Ventral mesentery: 
      • Anchors gut tube 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
      • Gives rise to lesser omentum
    • Dorsal mesentery: 
      • Anchors gut tube 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
      • Remains as mesentery
      • Also gives rise to the greater omentum
    • Contains the blood vessels that supply the primitive gut tube as it grows away from the abdominal aorta Aorta The main trunk of the systemic arteries. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy

Peritoneum and the Peritoneal Cavity

Anatomy of the peritoneum

  • Histologically composed of: 
  • Peritoneal layers:
    • Visceral peritoneum: tightly covers the abdominal visceral organs
    • Parietal peritoneum Parietal peritoneum A membrane of squamous epithelial cells, the mesothelial cells, covered by apical microvilli that allow rapid absorption of fluid and particles in the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum is divided into parietal and visceral components. The parietal peritoneum covers the inside of the abdominal wall. The visceral peritoneum covers the intraperitoneal organs. The double-layered peritoneum forms the mesentery that suspends these organs from the abdominal wall. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy: lines the inside of the abdominopelvic body wall
  • Peritoneal folds (see Compartments of the Peritoneal Cavity for details): 
    • Mesenteries
    • Peritoneal ligaments
    • Omenta
  • Subdivisions of the peritoneal cavity (see Neurovasculature for details)
    • Greater sac, which contains:
      • Supracolic compartment
      • Infracolic compartment 
    • Lesser sac

Visualizing the peritoneal cavity

  • The peritoneal cavity is the space enclosed by the parietal peritoneum Parietal peritoneum A membrane of squamous epithelial cells, the mesothelial cells, covered by apical microvilli that allow rapid absorption of fluid and particles in the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum is divided into parietal and visceral components. The parietal peritoneum covers the inside of the abdominal wall. The visceral peritoneum covers the intraperitoneal organs. The double-layered peritoneum forms the mesentery that suspends these organs from the abdominal wall. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy, which lines the inner 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 visceral organs push into this space and are lined with visceral peritoneum.
  • There are no organs (only a serous fluid) between the parietal peritoneum Parietal peritoneum A membrane of squamous epithelial cells, the mesothelial cells, covered by apical microvilli that allow rapid absorption of fluid and particles in the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum is divided into parietal and visceral components. The parietal peritoneum covers the inside of the abdominal wall. The visceral peritoneum covers the intraperitoneal organs. The double-layered peritoneum forms the mesentery that suspends these organs from the abdominal wall. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy and the visceral peritoneum.
  • Imagine the peritoneum as a balloon filling the abdominal cavity: 
    • If you push your finger into the balloon, your finger takes up space and can move around within the balloon without popping or piercing the balloon itself. 
    • The visceral abdominal organs protrude “into” the peritoneal cavity (like your finger pushing into the balloon) without actually piercing the peritoneum itself.

Boundaries of the peritoneal cavity

  • Anterior: anterior abdominal muscles
  • Posterior: 
    • Vertebrae and ribs Ribs A set of twelve curved bones which connect to the vertebral column posteriorly, and terminate anteriorly as costal cartilage. Together, they form a protective cage around the internal thoracic organs. Chest Wall: Anatomy
    • Aorta Aorta The main trunk of the systemic arteries. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy and vena cava
    • Kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy and adrenal glands Adrenal Glands The adrenal glands are a pair of retroperitoneal endocrine glands located above the kidneys. The outer parenchyma is called the adrenal cortex and has 3 distinct zones, each with its own secretory products. Beneath the cortex lies the adrenal medulla, which secretes catecholamines involved in the fight-or-flight response. Adrenal Glands: Anatomy
  • Superior: 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
  • Inferior: pelvic floor Pelvic floor Soft tissue formed mainly by the pelvic diaphragm, which is composed of the two levator ani and two coccygeus muscles. The pelvic diaphragm lies just below the pelvic aperture (outlet) and separates the pelvic cavity from the perineum. It extends between the pubic bone anteriorly and the coccyx posteriorly. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy

Intraperitoneal versus retroperitoneal organs

Organs can be classified according to their peritoneal coverage:

  • Intraperitoneal: completely contained within the parietal peritoneum Parietal peritoneum A membrane of squamous epithelial cells, the mesothelial cells, covered by apical microvilli that allow rapid absorption of fluid and particles in the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum is divided into parietal and visceral components. The parietal peritoneum covers the inside of the abdominal wall. The visceral peritoneum covers the intraperitoneal organs. The double-layered peritoneum forms the mesentery that suspends these organs from the abdominal wall. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy
  • Retroperitoneal: positioned between the body wall and the peritoneum (behind the peritoneal cavity)
    • Primary retroperitoneal: organs that were never within the peritoneal cavity
    • Secondarily retroperitoneal: organs that begin as intraperitoneal during initial development but end up as retroperitoneal once fully developed
  • Subperitoneal: organ positioned beneath the peritoneum
Table: Intraperitoneal versus retroperitoneal organs
Location Organs
Intraperitoneal
  • 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
  • 1st part 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 (superior part)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus 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
  • 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
  • Tail of 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
  • 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
  • Female reproductive organs:
    • Uterus Uterus The uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes are part of the internal female reproductive system. The uterus has a thick wall made of smooth muscle (the myometrium) and an inner mucosal layer (the endometrium). The most inferior portion of the uterus is the cervix, which connects the uterine cavity to the vagina. Uterus, Cervix, and Fallopian Tubes: Anatomy
    • Fallopian tubes Fallopian tubes The uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes are part of the internal female reproductive system. The fallopian tubes receive an ovum after ovulation and help move it and/or a fertilized embryo toward the uterus via ciliated cells lining the tubes and peristaltic movements of its smooth muscle. Uterus, Cervix, and Fallopian Tubes: Anatomy
    • Ovaries Ovaries Ovaries are the paired gonads of the female reproductive system that contain haploid gametes known as oocytes. The ovaries are located intraperitoneally in the pelvis, just posterior to the broad ligament, and are connected to the pelvic sidewall and to the uterus by ligaments. These organs function to secrete hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and to produce the female germ cells (oocytes). Ovaries: Anatomy
Secondarily retroperitoneal
  • 2nd–4th parts 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
  • Head, neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess, and body of 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Upper 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
Primary retroperitoneal
  • Kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy
  • Ureters Ureters One of a pair of thick-walled tubes that transports urine from the kidney pelvis to the urinary bladder. Urinary Tract: Anatomy
  • Adrenal/suprarenal glands
  • Abdominal aorta Aorta The main trunk of the systemic arteries. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy
  • Inferior vena cava Inferior vena cava The venous trunk which receives blood from the lower extremities and from the pelvic and abdominal organs. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy
Subperitoneal
  • 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
  • Lower 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
  • Anal canal
  • Female reproductive organs: vagina Vagina The vagina is the female genital canal, extending from the vulva externally to the cervix uteri internally. The structures have sexual, reproductive, and urinary functions and a rich blood supply, mainly arising from the internal iliac artery. Vagina, Vulva, and Pelvic Floor: Anatomy
  • Male reproductive organs:
    • 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.
    • Seminal vesicles Vesicles Female Genitourinary Examination
Development of secondarily retroperitoneal organs

Development of secondarily retroperitoneal organs:
These organs begin suspended by a mesentery. However, as the organ develops, the mesentery regresses until the organ is flush with the posterior wall and ends up as a retroperitoneal organ.

Image by Lecturio.

Peritoneal Folds

Mesentery

  • 2 layers of peritoneum
  • Suspends and holds the visceral organs 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
  • Contains:
    • Arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology and veins Veins Veins are tubular collections of cells, which transport deoxygenated blood and waste from the capillary beds back to the heart. Veins are classified into 3 types: small veins/venules, medium veins, and large veins. Each type contains 3 primary layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. Veins: Histology
    • Lymphatics
    • Nerves
  • Specific mesenteries: 
    • Mesentery 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
      • Connects the 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 and 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 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
      • Typically referred to as simply “the mesentery”
    • Transverse mesocolon: connects 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 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
    • Sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus mesocolon: V-shaped peritoneal fold that attaches the sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus 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 to 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
Blood supply of the small intestine

Arterial supply of the 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 and 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

Image by Lecturio.

Ligaments

  • 2 layers of peritoneum
  • Connect 2 organs to each other or attach an organ to the body wall 
  • Some ligaments form part of an omentum.
  • Generally named for the 2 connecting body parts
  • Named ligaments: 
    • Phrenicocolic: 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 ↔ 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
    • Splenorenal: 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 ↔ left kidney
    • Gastrophrenic: 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 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
    • Gastrocolic: 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 ↔ 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
    • Gastrosplenic: 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 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
    • Hepatogastric: 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 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 
    • Hepatoduodenal: 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 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
      • Between the porta hepatis Porta hepatis Liver: Anatomy of 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 superior part 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
      • Contains the portal triad Portal Triad Liver: Anatomy: hepatic artery Hepatic artery A branch of the celiac artery that distributes to the stomach, pancreas, duodenum, liver, gallbladder, and greater omentum. Liver: Anatomy, portal vein Portal vein A short thick vein formed by union of the superior mesenteric vein and the splenic vein. Liver: Anatomy, and 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
    • Falciform ligament Falciform Ligament Liver: 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 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

Omenta

The omenta are layered sheets of peritoneum. The greater omentum and the lesser omentum are the 2 omenta.

Greater omentum:

  • Structure: a 4-layered fold of peritoneum 
  • Location: 
    • Hanging from the greater curve 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 like an apron
    • Covers 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 and much of the small intestines
  • Highly mobile structure
  • Function:
    • Prevents adhesion Adhesion The process whereby platelets adhere to something other than platelets, e.g., collagen; basement membrane; microfibrils; or other ‘foreign’ surfaces. Coagulation Studies formation between visceral organs and 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
    • Surrounds inflamed organs → seals them off to limit Limit A value (e.g., pressure or time) that should not be exceeded and which is specified by the operator to protect the lung Invasive Mechanical Ventilation adhesions 
  • Made up of 3 primary ligaments:
    • Gastrocolic
    • Gastrosplenic
    • Gastrophrenic

Lesser omentum:

  • Structure: double layer of peritoneum
  • Location: extends from 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 to the lesser curvature Lesser curvature 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 and the proximal portion 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
  • Made up of 2 primary ligaments:
Lesser omentum and omental foramen in situ

Lesser omentum and omental foramen in situ

Image by Lecturio.

Compartments of the Peritoneal Cavity

Overview

The peritoneal cavity is divided into several different compartments by the omenta and transverse mesocolon:

  • Greater sac:
    • Anterior portion of the cavity
    • Further subdivided into:
      • Supracolic compartment
      • Infracolic compartment
  • Lesser sac:
    • Located in the upper posterior portion of the abdomen
    • Communicates with the greater sac via the epiploic foramen, located on the free edge of the lesser omentum
A sagittal section through the abdomen depicting the greater and lesser sacs

A sagittal Sagittal Computed Tomography (CT) section through the abdomen depicting the greater and lesser sacs:
The greater sac is outlined in green, and the lesser sac is outlined in blue.

Image by Lecturio.

Greater sac

The greater sac is divided into 2 compartments by the transverse mesocolon.

  • Supracolic compartment:
    • Lies above the transverse mesocolon
    • Contains:
      • 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
      • 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
      • 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
  • Infracolic compartment:
    • Lies below the transverse mesocolon 
    • Contains:
      • 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
      • 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
      • 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
    • Can be further subdivided into right and left halves by the mesentery 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
  • Supracolic and infracolic compartments communicate freely via the paracolic gutters.

Lesser sac

The lesser sac is also known as the omental bursa. 

  • Anatomic margins: 
    • Anterior: 
      • Lesser omentum
      • 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
    • Posterior: 
      • 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
      • Left kidney and adrenal gland
    • Inferior: greater omentum
    • Superior and medial: 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
    • Lateral: 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
  • Connected to the greater sac through the epiploic foramen
  • Boundaries of the epiploic foramen: 
    • Hepatoduodenal ligament Hepatoduodenal Ligament Liver: Anatomy (containing the portal triad Portal Triad Liver: Anatomy) anteriorly
    • Inferior vena cava Inferior vena cava The venous trunk which receives blood from the lower extremities and from the pelvic and abdominal organs. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy posteriorly
    • Caudate lobe of 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 superiorly
    • 1st part 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 inferiorly

Neurovasculature

Table: Neurovasculature of the peritoneum
Parietal peritoneum Parietal peritoneum A membrane of squamous epithelial cells, the mesothelial cells, covered by apical microvilli that allow rapid absorption of fluid and particles in the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum is divided into parietal and visceral components. The parietal peritoneum covers the inside of the abdominal wall. The visceral peritoneum covers the intraperitoneal organs. The double-layered peritoneum forms the mesentery that suspends these organs from the abdominal wall. Posterior Abdominal Wall: Anatomy Visceral peritoneum
Arterial supply From 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 vasculature Superior and inferior mesenteric arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology
Venous drainage Veins Veins Veins are tubular collections of cells, which transport deoxygenated blood and waste from the capillary beds back to the heart. Veins are classified into 3 types: small veins/venules, medium veins, and large veins. Each type contains 3 primary layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. Veins: Histology drain into the inferior vena cava Inferior vena cava The venous trunk which receives blood from the lower extremities and from the pelvic and abdominal organs. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy Veins Veins Veins are tubular collections of cells, which transport deoxygenated blood and waste from the capillary beds back to the heart. Veins are classified into 3 types: small veins/venules, medium veins, and large veins. Each type contains 3 primary layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. Veins: Histology drain into the portal vein Portal vein A short thick vein formed by union of the superior mesenteric vein and the splenic vein. Liver: Anatomy
Innervation Somatic innervation from spinal nerves Spinal nerves The 31 paired peripheral nerves formed by the union of the dorsal and ventral spinal roots from each spinal cord segment. The spinal nerve plexuses and the spinal roots are also included. Spinal Cord: Anatomy T10–L1 ( pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways can be localized) Autonomic innervation ( pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways is difficult to localize)

Clinical Relevance

  • Peritonitis Peritonitis Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes. Primary peritonitis is due to infection of the peritoneal cavity via hematogenous or lymphatic spread and without intra-abdominal source. Secondary peritonitis arises from the abdominal cavity itself through rupture or abscess of intra-abdominal organs. Penetrating Abdominal Injury: inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the peritoneum. Peritonitis Peritonitis Inflammation of the peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity as the result of infectious, autoimmune, or chemical processes. Primary peritonitis is due to infection of the peritoneal cavity via hematogenous or lymphatic spread and without intra-abdominal source. Secondary peritonitis arises from the abdominal cavity itself through rupture or abscess of intra-abdominal organs. Penetrating Abdominal Injury may be due to an intraabdominal abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, rupture of an infected abdominal organ or hollow viscus (commonly the appendix Appendix A worm-like blind tube extension from the cecum. Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy or a diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease of the sigmoid Sigmoid A segment of the colon between the rectum and the descending colon. Volvulus 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), or infection from peritoneal dialysis Dialysis Renal replacement therapy refers to dialysis and/or kidney transplantation. Dialysis is a procedure by which toxins and excess water are removed from the circulation. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis (PD) are the two types of dialysis, and their primary difference is the location of the filtration process (external to the body in hemodialysis versus inside the body for PD). Peritoneal Dialysis and Hemodialysis, or it may be spontaneous (typically in individuals with cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis and ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites). 
  • Peritoneal adhesions: abnormal connections between the visceral peritoneum of adjacent organs or between the 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 and visceral layers of the peritoneum. Peritoneal adhesions are usually the result of inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation and/or injury to the peritoneum. These adhesions can lead to pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, bowel obstruction Bowel obstruction Any impairment, arrest, or reversal of the normal flow of intestinal contents toward the anal canal. Ascaris/Ascariasis, and 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. Surgical lysis of adhesions may occasionally be necessary if the individual is symptomatic, but often adhesions are asymptomatic and treatment is unnecessary.
  • Ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites: pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity. Ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites occurs because of an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure Hydrostatic pressure The pressure due to the weight of fluid. Edema imbalance secondary to portal hypertension Portal hypertension Portal hypertension is increased pressure in the portal venous system. This increased pressure can lead to splanchnic vasodilation, collateral blood flow through portosystemic anastomoses, and increased hydrostatic pressure. There are a number of etiologies, including cirrhosis, right-sided congestive heart failure, schistosomiasis, portal vein thrombosis, hepatitis, and Budd-Chiari syndrome. Portal Hypertension ( cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis, heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)) or nonportal hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension ( hypoalbuminemia Hypoalbuminemia A condition in which albumin level in blood (serum albumin) is below the normal range. Hypoalbuminemia may be due to decreased hepatic albumin synthesis, increased albumin catabolism, altered albumin distribution, or albumin loss through the urine (albuminuria). Nephrotic Syndrome in Children, malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax, infection). Individuals often present with progressive abdominal distention Abdominal distention Megacolon and weight gain. Abdominal exam may reveal shifting dullness Shifting dullness Change of resonance (from dull to tympanic) when patient changes from supine to lateral decubitus position. Ascites and a positive fluid wave. 
  • FAST exam: point-of-care ultrasound Point-Of-Care Ultrasound Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) ( POCUS POCUS Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST)) examination protocol of the abdominal and thoracic cavities performed in the ED as part of the secondary survey Secondary Survey ABCDE Assessment in advanced trauma life support (ATLS). The main goal of the FAST exam is to identify free intraperitoneal fluid (blood) and pericardial effusion Pericardial effusion Fluid accumulation within the pericardium. Serous effusions are associated with pericardial diseases. Hemopericardium is associated with trauma. Lipid-containing effusion (chylopericardium) results from leakage of thoracic duct. Severe cases can lead to cardiac tamponade. Pericardial Effusion and Cardiac Tamponade from trauma that may require emergent surgical attention Attention Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating. Psychiatric Assessment. An individual can completely exsanguinate into the peritoneal cavity.
  • Peritoneal neoplasias: Rare cancers may originate from the peritoneum and/or omentum itself. 

References

  1. Richard L.D., Wayne, A.V., Mitchell, A.W.M. (2020). Abdomen. In Richard L.D., et al. (Ed.), Gray’s Anatomy for Students (4th ed. pp. 300–306.) Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier,
  2. Isaza-Restrepo A., et al. (2018). The peritoneum: beyond the tissue—a review. Front Physiol 9:738. Retrieved August 8, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6014125/
  3. Kalra, A., Wehrle, C. (2021). Anatomy, abdomen and pelvis, peritoneum. StatPearls. Retrieved August 25, 2021, from https://www.statpearls.com/articlelibrary/viewarticle/32341/

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