2 an enlarged and muscular saclike organ of the alimentary canal; the principal organ of digestion [syn: stomach, tum, breadbasket]
- Rhymes: -ʌmi
The human abdomen (from the Latin word meaning "belly") is the part of the body between the pelvis and the thorax. Anatomically, the abdomen stretches from the thorax at the thoracic diaphragm to the pelvis at the pelvic brim. The pelvic brim stretches from the lumbosacral angle (the intervertebral disk between L5 and S1) to the pubic symphysis and is the edge of the pelvic inlet. The space above this inlet and under the thoracic diaphragm is termed the abdominal cavity. The boundary of the abdominal cavity is the abdominal wall in the front and the peritoneal surface at the rear.
Functionally, the human abdomen is where most of the alimentary tract is placed and so most of the absorption and digestion of food occurs here. The alimentary tract in the abdomen consists of the lower esophagus, the stomach, the duodenum, the jejunum, ileum, the cecum and the appendix, the ascending, transverse and descending colons, the sigmoid colon and the rectum. Other vital organs inside the abdomen include the liver, the kidneys, the pancreas and the spleen.
The abdominal wall is split into the posterior (back), lateral (sides) and anterior (front) walls.
Muscles of the abdominal wall
- The highest of the former is the transpyloric line of C. Addison, which is situated half-way between the suprasternal notch and the top of the symphysis pubis, and often cuts the pyloric opening of the stomach an inch to the right of the mid-line. The hilum of each kidney is a little below it, while its left end approximately touches the lower limit of the spleen. It corresponds to the first lumbar vertebra behind.
- The second line is the subcostal line, drawn from the lowest point of the subcostal arch (tenth rib). It corresponds to the upper part of the third lumbar vertebra, and it is an inch or so above the umbilicus. It indicates roughly the transverse colon, the lower ends of the kidneys, and the upper limit of the transverse (3rd) part of the duodenum.
- The third line is called the intertubercular line, and runs across between the two rough tubercles, which can be felt on the outer lip of the crest of the ilium about two and a half inches (60 mm) from the anterior superior spine. This line corresponds to the body of the fifth lumbar vertebra, and passes through or just above the ileo-caecal valve, where the small intestine joins the large.
The two vertical or mid-Poupart lines are drawn from the point midway between the anterior superior spine and the pubic symphysis on each side, vertically upward to the costal margin.
- The right one is the most valuable, as the ileo-caecal valve is situated where it cuts the intertubercular line. The orifice of the vermiform appendix lies an inch lower, at McBurney's point. In its upper part, the vertical line meets the transpyloric line at the lower margin of the ribs, usually the ninth, and here the gallbladder is situated.
- The left mid-Poupart line corresponds in its upper three-quarters to the inner edge of the descending colon.
The right subcostal margin corresponds to the lower limit of the liver, while the right nipple is about half an inch above the upper limit of this viscus.
Regions of the abdomen
These three horizontal and two vertical lines divide the abdomen into nine "regions." (Note that "hypo" means "below" and "epi" means "above", while "chond" means "cartilage" (in this case, the cartilage of the rib) and "gast" means stomach. The reversal of "left" and "right" is intentional, because the anatomical designations reflect the position on the patient. )
Another way of dividing the abdomen is by using 4 quadrants:
- Tortora, Gerard J., Anagnostakos, Nicholas P. (1984) Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, Harper & Row Publishers, New York ISBN 0-06-046656-1
- Gray, Henry, (1977) Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical (Gray's Anatomy) Bounty Books
- Taber, Clarence Wilber, (1981) Taber's Cyclopedic medical dictionary 14 Edition, F.A Davis Company, Philadelphia ISBN 0-8036-8307-3
tummy in German: Abdomen
tummy in Spanish: Abdomen
tummy in French: Abdomen
tummy in Galician: Abdome
tummy in Italian: Addome
tummy in Korean: 복부
tummy in Hebrew: בטן
tummy in Lithuanian: Pilvelis
tummy in Dutch: Buik
tummy in Polish: Jama brzuszna
tummy in Portuguese: Abdômen humano
tummy in Russian: Живот
tummy in Simple English: Abdomen
tummy in Slovenian: Trebuh
tummy in Tagalog: Abdomen
tummy in Chinese: 腹腔
tummy in Finnish: Vatsalihakset
abdomen, abomasum, bay window, beerbelly, belly, breadbasket, craw, crop, diaphragm, embonpoint, first stomach, gizzard, gullet, gut, honeycomb stomach, kishkes, manyplies, maw, midriff, omasum, paunch, pot, potbelly, potgut, psalterium, pusgut, rennet bag, reticulum, rumen, second stomach, spare tire, stomach, swagbelly, third stomach, tum-tum, underbelly, venter, ventripotence