MB ChB Year 1: Nutrition and Energy

Lecture 2: Peritoneal reflections

Dr Pat McConnell

Lecture Material

A copy of Dr McConnell's presentation is available on the VLE.

Lecture Synopsis

Arrangement of the gut tube and associated organs within the abdominal cavity. Disposition of the peritoneal membrane to form the mesenteries and omenta, the greater and lesser sacs and the supracolic and infracolic compartments. Clinical significance of this arrangement.

Learning objectives

  1. Distinguish between the abdominal and peritoneal cavities.
  2. Define the terms parietal peritoneum, visceral peritoneum and mesentery. Outline the function of the mesenteries.
  3. Define the term retroperitoneal and list the retroperitoneal abdominal organs
  4. Define the term intraperitoneal and list the intraperitoneal abdominal organs.
  5. Distinguish between the greater sac and the lesser sac of the peritoneal cavity.
  6. Describe the shape and location of the lesser sac.
  7. Explain why the usual surgical approach to the ascending and descending colon is from their lateral aspect.
  8. Distinguish between the supracolic and infracolic compartments of the greater sac.
  9. Locate the falciform ligament, the subphrenic recesses, the coronary ligaments and the hepatorenal recess within the supracolic compartment.
  10. Locate the paracolic gutters and the root of the mesentery within the infracolic compartment.
  11. Outline the clinical importance of the subphrenic and hepatorenal recesses, and the paracolic gutters and their communications.

Self Directed Learning Resources

  1. Read the section on the peritoneum in your chosen textbook. Also read through the section of the workbook relating to the first anatomy practical for Nutrition and Energy, as this should also help your understanding.
  2. The ANATLAB tutorial on Peritoneum (in the abdomen and thorax section of ANATLAB) is also useful.

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