Infobox Anatomy
Name = Peritoneum
Latin =
GraySubject = 246
GrayPage = 1149

Caption = The peritoneum, coloured in blue

Caption2 = The epiploic foramen, greater sac or general cavity (red) and lesser sac, or omental bursa (blue). (Areas outlined in blue and red correspond to above diagram.)
System =
MeshName = Peritoneum
MeshNumber = A01.047.025.600
DorlandsPre = p_14
DorlandsSuf = 12629236
In higher vertebrates, the peritoneum is the serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity — it covers most of the intra-abdominal organs. It is composed of a layer of mesothelium supported by a thin layer of connective tissue.The peritoneum both supports the abdominal organs and serves as a conduit for their blood and lymph vessels and nerves.



The abdominal cavity (the space bounded by the vertebrae, abdominal muscles, diaphragm and pelvic floor) should not be confused with the intraperitoneal space (located within the abdominal cavity, but wrapped in peritoneum). For example, a kidney is inside the abdominal cavity, but is retroperitoneal.

Although they ultimately form one continuous sheet, two types or layers of peritoneum and a potential space between them are referenced:
* The outer layer, called the parietal peritoneum, is attached to the abdominal wall.
* The inner layer, the visceral peritoneum, is wrapped around the internal organs that are located inside the intraperitoneal cavity.
* The potential space between these two layers is the peritoneal cavity; it is filled with a small amount (about 50 ml) of slippery serous fluid that allows the two layers to slide freely over each other.
* The term mesentery is often used to refer to a double layer of visceral peritoneum. There are often blood vessels, nerves, and other structures between these layers. It should be noted that the space between these two layers is technically outside of the peritoneal sac, and thus not in the peritoneal cavity.


There are two main regions of the peritoneum, connected by the epiploic foramen:

* the greater sac (or "general cavity of the abdomen"), represented in red in the diagrams above.
* the lesser sac (or "omental bursa"), represented in blue. The lesser sac is divided into two "omenta":
** The lesser omentum (or "gastrohepatic") is attached to the lesser curvature of the stomach and the liver.
** The greater omentum (or "gastrocolic") hangs from the greater curve of the stomach and loops down in front of the intestines before curving back upwards to attach to the transverse colon. In effect it is draped in front of the intestines like an apron and may serve as an insulating or protective layer.

The mesentery is the part of the peritoneum through which most abdominal organs are attached to the abdominal wall and supplied with blood and lymph vessels and nerves.

Structures include:

Structures that are "intraperitoneal" are generally mobile, while those that are "retroperitoneal" are relatively fixed in their location.

Some structures, such as the kidneys, are "primarily retroperitoneal", while others such as the majority of the duodenum, are "secondarily retroperitoneal", meaning that structure developed intraperitoneally but lost its mesentery and thus became retroperitoneal.


"Peritoneum" is derived from Greek. "Peri-" means "around", while "-ton-" refers to stretching. Thus, peritoneuum means "stretched around" or "stretched over".



*Tortora, Gerard J., Anagnostakos, Reginald Merryweather, Nicholas P. (1984) "Principles of Anatomy and Physiology", Harper & Row Publishers, New York ISBN 0-06-046656-1

External links

* [ Overview and diagrams at]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Peritoneum — Per i*to*ne um, n. [L. peritoneum, peritonaeum, Gr. ?, ?, fr. ? to stretch all around or over; ? around + ? to stretch.] (Anat.) The smooth serous membrane which lines the cavity of the abdomen, or the whole body cavity when there is no diaphragm …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Peritoneum — ⇒ Bauchfell …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • peritoneum — 1540s, from L.L. peritonaeum (c.420), from Gk. peritonaion abdominal membrane, lit. part stretched over, from neut. of peritonaios stretched over, from peri around (see PERI (Cf. peri )) + teinein to stretch (see TENET (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • peritoneum — peritonèum m DEFINICIJA anat. tanka ovojnica koja s unutrašnje strane pokriva trbušnu šupljinu i prelazi na neke trbušne organe; potrbušnica ETIMOLOGIJA lat. peritonaeum ← grč. peritónaion ≃ peri + teínein: napinjati …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • peritoneum — ► NOUN (pl. peritoneums or peritonea) ▪ the membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen and covering the abdominal organs. DERIVATIVES peritoneal adjective. ORIGIN Latin, from peritonos stretched round …   English terms dictionary

  • peritoneum — [per΄ə tə nē′əm] n. pl. peritonea [per΄ə tə nē′ə] or peritoneums [LL < Gr peritonaion < peri , around + teinein, to stretch: see THIN] the transparent serous membrane lining the abdominal cavity and reflected inward at various places to… …   English World dictionary

  • Peritoneum — Das Peritoneum (von griech. peritonaion „das Ausgespannte“) oder Bauchfell kleidet als seröse Haut den Bauchraum aus. Es umgibt die meisten inneren Organe unterhalb des Zwerchfells bis zum Eingang des kleinen Beckens. Es ist durch ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Peritoneum — The membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers most of the abdominal organs. (From the Greek peri meaning around + tonos meaning a stretching = a stretching around). * * * The serous sac, consisting of mesothelium and a thin layer of… …   Medical dictionary

  • peritoneum — n. the serous membrane of the abdominal cavity (see illustration). The parietal peritoneum lines the walls of the abdomen, and the visceral peritoneum covers the abdominal organs. See also mesentery, omentum. Derivatives: peritoneal adj …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • peritoneum — (plural peritonea)) a membrane covering the body cavity (coelomic cavity) including the viscera. Often its color, light, speckled or black is of taxonomic significance. There are visceral and parietal peritonea, q.v. A black peritoneum may… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”