Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The abdominopelvic cavity extends from the diaphragm to the pelvis. It is subdivided into a superior abdominal cavity and aninferior pelvic cavity (Figures 1–9 and 1–10a). The abdominopelvic cavity contains the peritoneal cavity, a potential space lined by a serous membrane known as the peritoneum. The parietal peritoneum lines the inner surface of the body wall. A narrow space containing a small amount of fluid separates the parietal peritoneum from the visceral peritoneum, which covers the enclosed organs. You are probably already aware of the movements of the organs in this cavity. Who has not had at least one embarrassing moment when the contraction of a digestive organ produced a movement of liquid or gas and a gurgling or rumbling sound? The peritoneum allows the organs of the digestive system to slide across one another without damage to themselves or the walls of the cavity.

The abdominal cavity extends from the inferior surface of the diaphragm to the level of the superior margins of the pelvis. This cavity contains the liver, stomach, spleen, small intestine, and most of the large intestine.  The organs are partially or completely enclosed by the peritoneal cavity, much as the heart and lungs are enclosed by the pericardial and pleural cavities, respectively. A few organs, such as the kidneys and pancreas, lie between the peritoneal lining and the muscular wall of the abdominal cavity. Those organs are said to be retroperitoneal (retro, behind). per-i-to_ -NE_ -um per-i-to_ -NE_ -al

The pelvic cavity is the portion of the ventral body cavity inferior to the abdominal cavity. The bones of the pelvis form the walls of the pelvic cavity, and a layer of muscle forms its floor. The pelvic cavity contains the urinary bladder, various reproductive organs, and the distal portion of the large intestine. The pelvic cavity of females, for example, contains the ovaries, uterine tubes, and uterus; in males, it contains the prostate gland and seminal glands. The pelvic cavity also contains the inferior portion of the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum covers the ovaries and the uterus in females, as well as the superior portion of the urinary bladder in both sexes. Visceral structures such as the urinary bladder and the distal portions of the ureters and large intestine, which extend inferior to the peritoneal cavity, are said to be infraperitoneal.


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