Lexicon:Abdominal cavity

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Term: abdominal cavity
References: Post Captain, page 63
Meaning: The inside of the abdomen, also known as the 'peritoneal cavity' after the thin lining of the abdominal cavity, which has two parts — the parietal peritoneum, which lines the inside of the abdominal wall, and the visceral peritoneum, which covers the intestines as they pass through the abdominal cavity. They are continuous with each other; if an intestine ruptures, or is penetrated by a bullet or other object, its contents enter the peritoneal cavity and this is what causes peritonitis, a grave and often fatal condition prior the availability of antibiotics. This is what happens if the appendix ruptures, for example. The kidneys are in the abdominal cavity, but not in the peritoneal cavity, rather they are 'retroperitoneal', that is, behind the peritoneal cavity.

Additional information

Maturin's Medicine — This article is based on information from Maturin's Medicine, compiled and edited by Kerry Webb, with the help of a number of contributors.

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