Abdominal Regions and Reference Planes – Surface Anatomy of the Abdomen

by James Pickering, PhD

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    00:01 If we look at the anterior aspect of the abdomen then superimposed onto this region are a number of lines which we have drawn on and these actually divide the abdomen into numerous regions and the lines that we have drawn on, use the surface landmarks which we spoke about previously. So, what we can see is that here we have got our abdomen, this region around here, we can see we have got our superior aspect up here and we have got the inferior aspect down here and we can use the landmarks which we spoke about previously to divide up into various regions. So, we can create this sagittal or this vertical plane that runs down. If we look up here, we have our two clavicles and if we look at the midclavicular line, this is a line which runs all the way down from the clavicle, all the way down to the midpoint of the inguinal ligament. So, the inguinal ligament is running in this direction and we have got our clavicle here and we have this midclavicular line that’s running all the way down in this direction. We have one on this right side and we also have another on this left side. And you can see, this divides the abdomen into the three vertical bands, we have got one here, one here and one here. We can also look at two transverse or horizontal planes that are going across the abdomen. We have one known as the subcostal plane that is running in this direction here in line with the 10th costal cartilage that runs horizontally and then we have another one known as the transtubercular line which runs across here.

    01:42 And we can see this now divides the surface of the abdomen into nine regions. We can see we have a region here, here and here. So, we have 1, 2, 3 and then we have three below and then three below that. So, we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. And these regions are really important because you can teach people that deep to these specific regions we have certain organs so that if pain is radiating in one of these regions, you have a good idea which organ lies beneath it. So, we can see in this midline here, we have what is known as the epigastric region and then deep to that by the umbilicus, we have the umbilical region. Inferior to the umbilical region, again, we find we have the pubic region here.

    02:31 So, we have epigastric, we have umbilicus and we have a pubic region. And then lateral to these, so, on either side of these, we have left and right versions. So, here on this left hand side, we have the left hypochondriac and then on this side, we have the right hypochondriac.

    02:51 Inferior to those on the lateral to the umbilical region, we have the left lumbar and we have the right lumbar regions. And then inferior to that, again, we have the left inguinal region and we have the right inguinal region. So, we know, for example, that down in this right inguinal region, our appendix is located. So, if pain is radiating from this region, it’s maybe an indication that we have appendicitis. We know that radiating in most of these regions, we have the small intestine. We know that up in this region here, we have the spleen. So, through the course, we will look at the position of these organs and how they can relate to the surface of the abdomen. So, these surface landmarks and these abdominal regions and reference planes are really important.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Abdominal Regions and Reference Planes – Surface Anatomy of the Abdomen by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Abdomen.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. 10
    2. 9
    3. 8
    4. 12
    5. 11
    1. Right inguinal
    2. Left inguinal
    3. Epigastric
    4. Right hypochondriac
    5. Pubic

    Author of lecture Abdominal Regions and Reference Planes – Surface Anatomy of the Abdomen

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD

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    By Hazazi M. on 26. February 2018 for Abdominal Regions and Reference Planes – Surface Anatomy of the Abdomen

    i wish i had this prof. James pickering for all the anatomy lectures! he's so fun to watch... greaaaat lectures

    By RAMJIE L. on 18. January 2018 for Abdominal Regions and Reference Planes – Surface Anatomy of the Abdomen

    Just like reading a Gray's Anatomy book, but this time, I am just listening to him.