Peritoneal space

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The peritoneal cavity , also known as peritoneal cavity , peritoneal cavity , or lat. Peritoneal cavity or cavum peritonei is, part of the peritoneum lined abdominal cavity ( abdominal cavity ).


The term can describe two spaces:

  • In a narrower sense, it describes the narrow gap between the two sheets of the peritoneum , i.e. between the visceral and parietal sheet.
  • In a broader sense, it is understood to mean the peritoneum (both leaves) together with the organs enclosed by them (intraperitoneal).

Peritoneal cavity in the narrower sense

The peritoneal space is a space between the parietal peritoneum (the lining of the inside of the abdominal wall ) and the visceral peritoneum (the covering of the organs in the abdominal cavity). There is a small amount of peritoneal fluid in the peritoneal space . In adults, it is around 50 to 80 ml of peritoneal fluid that is secreted and absorbed by the peritoneum . The secretion has lubricating properties, which means that it reduces the friction between the organs in the peritoneal space. This facilitates the movements of the organs against each other. Too much or too little peritoneal fluid can be pathological for the person concerned. The peritoneal fluid is usually clear, viscous, and odorless. The isotonic liquid also has anti-inflammatory properties. In some diseases, such as endometriosis , the number of leukocytes in the peritoneal fluid is increased.

In peritoneal dialysis , the large surface area of ​​the peritoneal space is used as a membrane for fluid or electrolyte exchange. To do this, a small tube is placed through the abdominal wall into the peritoneal space. The dialysis fluid is injected into the peritoneal space through the tube. The exchange of substances then takes place via the peritoneum.

On the other hand, the large surface area of ​​the peritoneal space facilitates the rapid spread of inflammations and infections (? Peritonitis ). Also, cancer cells can easily absiedeln in the peritoneal cavity ( metastasize ) to spread there quickly and to a peritoneal lead.

Injections into the peritoneal space are called intraperitoneal injections . This form of application is mainly used in animals. The term intraperitoneal is an anatomical location that means "located within the peritoneal space".

Peritoneal cavity in the broader sense

In a broader sense, the peritoneal cavity consists of the peritoneum and the organs of the abdomen located intraperitoneally . These include the stomach, most of the small intestine, parts of the large intestine, the liver, the spleen and, in women, the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus.

The peritoneal cavity can be divided into two sections by the hanging ligament of the transverse large intestine (mesocolon transversum). Above the transverse colon lies the pars supracolica with the liver, stomach, duodenum, pancreas and spleen. Below the transverse colon lies the pars infracolica with the small intestine (without the duodenum) and the large intestine (including the transverse colon, without the rectum). It is limited at the bottom by the pool entrance level.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Herbert Lippert: Textbook anatomy. 7th edition. Elsevier GmbH, Munich 2003, ISBN 978-3-437-42362-8 , p. 278
  2. ^ A b c W. Vogl, AWM Mitchell: Anatomy for students. Verlag Elsevier, Urban & Fischer, 2007, ISBN 3-437-41231-0 , pp. 275-276. limited preview in Google Book search
  3. MA Bedaiwy, T. Falcone: peritoneal fluid environment in endometriosis. Clinicopathological implications. In: Minerva ginecologica. Volume 55, Number 4, August 2003, pp. 333-345, ISSN  0026-4784 . PMID 14581858 . (Review).


  • C. Isbert: Anatomy of the abdominal wall and groin region. In: JP Ritz, HJ Buhr: Hernia surgery. Edition 2, Verlag Springer, 2006, ISBN 3-540-27724-2 , pp. 9-20. doi : 10.1007 / 3-540-27726-9_2
  • H. Fritsch, W. Kühnel: Pocket Atlas Anatomie 02. Inner organs Georg Thieme Verlag, 2009, ISBN 3-134-92110-3 , pp. 182-189. limited preview in Google Book search
  • M. Schünke, E. Schulte and others: Prometheus learning atlas of anatomy. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2009, ISBN 3-131-39532-X , p. 201. Restricted preview in the Google book search
  • Herbert Lippert: Textbook anatomy. 7th edition. Elsevier GmbH, Munich 2003, ISBN 978-3-437-42362-8 , p. 278.
  • Helga Fritsch, Wolfgang Kühnel: Pocket Atlas Anatomy - Volume 2 Inner Organs. 9th edition. Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 2005. ISBN 3-13-492109-X , p. 182.