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Abdominal Cavity – Peritoneum

by James Pickering, PhD
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    00:00 If we were to do a section through the abdomen, then we will see these peritoneal cavities: the greater and lesser sac and the various compartments in more detail. Now what is this rather complicated diagram on the screen. Well this is a section, a sagittal section, through the abdomen and here we have got the vertebral column.

    00:24 So this is posterior, we have got the vertebral column, we have got the aorta.

    00:28 This is the diaphragm here and the liver, the stomach the transverse colon. This is just the part of small intestines and here we have got the pancreas.

    00:40 Here we can see the bladder and we have got the rectum and this is going to be the anterior abdominal wall.

    00:46 Now the peritoneum lines the anterior abdominal wall.

    00:50 It lines the anterior abdominal wall so here we can see we have got parietal peritoneum just in green here, parietal peritoneum.

    00:59 Now if we were to follow that, if we were to follow all the way up with the run over underside of the diaphragm we'll then importantly see actually run down to attach to the liver.

    01:15 And this is an important transition between parietal peritoneum and visceral peritoneum. With the visceral peritoneum now running over the liver.

    01:26 We can see this piece of green is completely continuous and we have parietal peritoneum and we now have visceral peritoneum.

    01:35 The same continuous sheet but the visceral peritoneum is over the organ parietal peritoneum over the body wall.

    01:42 We can then follow that and see that it extends away from the liver to the stomach. So we can see we now have a layer that is going from the liver to the stomach. We can then follow it all the way around the stomach.

    01:57 And then dangling down from the stomach we find we have this membrane this apron like membrane that is running down from the stomach.

    02:07 Once it gets inferiorily it then runs back up and it goes over the transverse colon towards the posterior abdominal wall in line with the pancreas and then it returns towards the transverse colon, surrounds it and then runs back to the pancreas.

    02:28 So what we have described is the lesser omentum here.

    02:35 We have described the lesser omentum here. We have described the greater omentum here.

    02:41 Lesser omentum, the greater omentum. Remember these peritoneal structures that are suspending the liver.

    02:47 We can then see that running back towards the pancreas.

    02:51 And then running towards the transverse colon we have found the transverse mesocolon suspending the transverse colon.

    02:59 We can then follow this parietal peritoneum down in this direction and we see how we have these two layers along the posterior abdominal wall and they are radiating over the small intestine.

    03:12 So we have parietal peritoneum and we have visceral peritoneum. And what we have got here is the mesentery.

    03:24 We can now see how these mesenteries allow these organs to move around within the abdomen.

    03:31 Now everything in this space here, this free space is known as the greater sac...

    03:40 is known as the greater sac.

    03:44 If we now look at the peritoneum that's forming this lesser sac we can now look at in blue. The same principles have applied. But this time we now posterior to the stomach. We can see we have a running parietal peritoneum here over the diaphragm it's then connecting to the liver and then it's running over the liver here as visceral peritoneum. It then runs towards the stomach where we have now got the lesser omentum again running over the stomach, the underside of the stomach here, so run on the inside of the greater omentum.

    04:19 And then it's running up back towards the posterior abdominal wall.

    04:24 And all of this in here is the lesser sac or the omental bursa.

    04:30 The lesser sac or the omental bursa. And if you remember from the previous slide these two sacs can communicate. This is the lesser omentum This is the lesser omentum which we can see here.

    04:45 Lesser omentum between the liver and the stomach.

    04:48 And in this slide we can see the lesser omentum, and the liver and the stomach.

    04:52 And we can communicate the greater sac here. The greater sac that communicate with the lesser sac via the epiploic foramen or the omental foramen.

    05:02 And that's just going to be a little aperture here that allows it to communicate in the greater sac to the lesser sac. Greater sac towards the lesser sac.

    05:13 We can also pick up some other important peritoneal ligaments.

    05:18 Remember a peritoneal ligament is a double layer. We have got a layer here and a layer here.

    05:23 And this important is our coronary ligament.

    05:27 And we will look at that in more detail when we will come to the liver.

    05:31 So we can see have got a whole series of greater omentum, lesser omentum.

    05:37 We have got the greater sac. We have got the lesser sac.

    05:40 And we can see, we will be able to develop the idea of peritoneal ligaments.

    05:47 The final part I want to do just on this section is, looking at the greater sac again and this supracolic and infracolic compartment. This is relatively straight forward.

    05:58 All you have to do is just lift out the transverse mesocolon and the greater omentum and form this great kind of separation in this kind of direction. Everything down here is infracolic compartment.

    06:12 And everything above is the supracolic compartment.

    06:17 So we can see in the infracolic compartment we have got the colon.

    06:21 We have got the small intestines and in the supracolic compartment we have got the stomach.

    06:27 We have got the liver, for example.

    06:31 Just different regions of the abdomen within this greater sac.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Abdominal Cavity – Peritoneum by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Abdomen.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. It contains blood vessels, nerves and lymphatics
    2. It is a single layer of tissue
    3. It connects one organ to another organ
    4. It is devoid of blood vessels
    5. It does not allow the organ to move freely
    1. Liver
    2. Lungs
    3. Kidneys
    4. Heart
    5. Esophagus
    1. Transverse colon
    2. Ascending colon
    3. Descending colon
    4. Diaphragm
    5. Stomach

    Author of lecture Abdominal Cavity – Peritoneum

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD


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