abdominal cavity

abdominal cavity

Largest hollow space of the body, between the diaphragm and the top of the pelvic cavity and surrounded by the spine and the abdominal muscles and others. It contains most of the alimentary canal, the liver and pancreas, the spleen, the kidneys, and the adrenal glands. It is lined by the peritoneum, a membrane covering the cavity's inside wall (parietal peritoneum) and each organ or structure in it (visceral peritoneum). Disorders include ascites (fluid in the peritoneal cavity) and peritonitis.

Learn more about abdominal cavity with a free trial on Britannica.com.

The abdominal cavity is the body cavity of the human body (and animal bodies) that holds the bulk of the viscera and which is located below (or inferior to) the thoracic cavity, and above the pelvic cavity. It is a part of the abdominopelvic cavity.

Organs of the abdominal cavity include the stomach, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, small intestine, kidneys, and large intestine.

The abdominal cavity is lined with a protective membrane termed the peritoneum. The kidneys are located in the abdominal cavity behind the peritoneum, in the retroperitoneum. The viscera are also covered, in the front, with a layer of peritoneum called the greater omentum (or omental apron).

See also

Search another word or see abdominal cavityon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature