Dictionary > Peritoneum

Peritoneum

Definition
noun, plural: peritonea
(anatomy) The serous membrane forming the lining of the abdominal cavity or coelom
peritoneal, adjective
Of, pertaining to, or relating to the peritoneum
Supplement
The peritoneum is the The serous membrane forming the lining of the abdominal cavity or coelom. In mammals, it lines the abdomen and is folded over the viscera. In other animals, such as some amniotes and invertebrates, the peritoneum lines the coelom cavity. The peritoneum covers most of the abdominal or coelomic organs. Thus, it functions by supporting these organs as well as by serving as a conduit for their blood vessels, lymph vessels, and nerves.
The peritoneum is made up of a layer of mesothelium that is supported by a thin layer of connective tissue. It may appear as one continuous sheet but there are two types of layers that exist: the parietal peritoneum (outer layer) and the visceral peritoneum (inner layer). In between these two layers is a space filled with serous fluid. This space is referred to as the peritoneal cavity.
Word origin: Ancient Greek perí (“around”) + tónos (“stretch”) + –aios (“suffix to form an adjective”)
See also:

Related term(s):

  • Lesser peritoneal cavity
  • Lesser peritoneal sac
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Peritoneal cavity
  • Peritoneal fossae
  • Peritoneal lavage
  • Peritoneal transfusion
  • Intraperitoneal
  • peritonitis


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