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An overview of the abdomen
Published on August 31, 2022 39 min
Other Talks in the Series: Introduction to Gross Anatomy for Medicine
Hello, my name is Beverley Kramer. I'm coming to you from South Africa. In the first part of the three lectures on the abdomen, I will provide you with a general overview.
This lecture will focus mainly on the boundaries and walls of the abdomen that will also include some development to provide an understanding of the positions of the organs and the mesenteries of the abdominal viscera.
The abdominal cavity outlined here in blue, is the largest space within the human body. It is housed within the abdomen. Like many of these structures in the human body that is a tubular or cylindrical structure, the abdominal cavity superior boundary is the inferior thoracic outlet, which is closed by the thoracic diaphragm. The inferior boundary of the cavity is the pelvic inlet. Posteriorly, the cavity is bounded by the vertebral column and anterolaterally by the abdominal musculature of the anterior abdominal wall.
As mentioned, the abdominal wall is mainly composed of muscle, but has many elements, as well. The skeletal boundaries of the abdominal cavity are thus, superiorly fascia components of the inferior thoracic outlet, such as the xiphoid process, the costal cartilages 7-10, the 12th rib on the thoracic vertebrae, T12. Posteriorly, the five lumbar vertebrae and intervening discs. The superior part of the pelvic bones of the region referred to as the false pelvis form the inferior boundary. As the abdomen extends from the diaphragm to the pelvic, during expiration the abdomen will extend up to the level of the fourth intercostal space or fifth rib on the right-hand side in the mid-clavicular line and thus, the contents of the most superior part of the abdomen are protected by the ribs. Some of the viscera in the inferior part of the abdomen will be protected by the ilia.