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Abdominal quadrants, regions and planes
Anatomy of the anterolateral abdominal wall
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Blood supply of the foregut, midgut and hindgut
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Esophagus and stomach
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Small intestine
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Large intestine
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Pancreas and spleen
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Kidneys, ureters and suprarenal glands
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Innervation of the abdominal viscera
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Liver, biliary ducts and gallbladder
Anatomy of the diaphragm
Anatomy of the inguinal region
Anatomy of the muscles and nerves of the posterior abdominal wall
Anatomy of the peritoneum and peritoneal cavity
Anatomy of the vessels of the posterior abdominal wall
Anatomy clinical correlates: Anterior and posterior abdominal wall
Anatomy clinical correlates: Viscera of the gastrointestinal tract
Anatomy clinical correlates: Peritoneum and diaphragm
Anatomy clinical correlates: Other abdominal organs
Anatomy clinical correlates: Inguinal region
Figure 2: Gross anatomy of the spleen. A. Visceral surface. B. Diaphragmatic surface.
Sam Gillespie, BSc
Evode Iradufasha, MD
Samantha McBundy, MFA, CMI
Kaia Chessen, MScBMC
Both the spleen and the pancreas are visceral organs in the foregut. Don’t get too excited though, that’s where their similarities end. Other characteristics such as the shape and function within the body are quite different. So let’s break them down!
Alright, let’s begin with the spleen, which has a few different important functions. Prenatally, it functions as a hematopoietic organ, which means it makes fetal blood cells. After birth, the spleen is like a hub for lymphocyte proliferation, as well as a recycling center for damaged red blood cells and platelets, and a blood reservoir, from which backup blood can be pumped into circulation after significant hemorrhage. For this reason, we can think of our spleen as our own personal blood bank.
The spleen is oval in shape and is an intraperitoneal organ. he spleen is an oval-shaped organ located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen, and it is intraperitoneal. This means that the spleen is entirely enveloped in visceral peritoneum, except at the splenic hilum where the vasculature enters and exits the organ.
The spleen has an anterior, superior and inferior border. The superior border of the spleen is easily recognizable due to its notched appearance. The outer surface of the spleen can also be divided into two parts; the diaphragmatic surface which is in contact with the concavity of the diaphragm, and the visceral surface that is in contact with the surrounding abdominal viscera.
Now, let’s break down the anatomical relationships of the spleen with its surrounding structures. The left portion of the diaphragm and the 9th to 11th ribs lie posterior to the spleen, with the diaphragm acting like a barrier between the spleen and the ribs. The stomach lies anterior to the spleen and the two connect at the greater curvature of the stomach via the gastrosplenic ligament. The spleen is lateral to the left kidney and the two are connected via the splenorenal ligament. The gastrosplenic and the splenorenal ligament contain splenic vessels within them and attach at the splenic hilum.
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