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Abdominal quadrants, regions and planes
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: Innervation of the abdominal viscera
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Kidneys, ureters and suprarenal glands
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Large intestine
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Liver, biliary ducts and gallbladder
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Pancreas and spleen
Anatomy of the abdominal viscera: Small intestine
Anatomy of the anterolateral abdominal wall
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: Inguinal region
Anatomy clinical correlates: Other abdominal organs
Anatomy clinical correlates: Peritoneum and diaphragm
Anatomy clinical correlates: Viscera of the gastrointestinal tract
The inguinal region, sometimes called the groin, is the lower part of the anterolateral abdominal wall. It’s a small area of great importance, as it serves as a passageway for structures such as the spermatic cord, vessels, and nerves to enter or leave the abdominal cavity.
The inguinal region is a compact space, located superior to the thigh, lateral to the pubic tubercle, and inferomedial to the anterior superior iliac spine.
One important structure in this region is the inguinal ligament, which is a thick fibrous band formed by the inferior border of the external oblique aponeurosis.
The inguinal ligament extends from the anterior superior iliac spine of the ilium, to the pubic tubercle on the pubic bone.
Medially, the inguinal ligament’s attachment to the pubis is reinforced by a number of smaller fibrous extensions, including the lacunar ligament and the pectineal ligament.
The lacunar ligament attaches along the superior pubic ramus and some fibres continue along the pecten pubis as the pectineal ligament.
The lacunar ligament forms the medial border of the subinguinal space, located inferior to the inguinal ligament.
Important structures that pass through this space include the psoas major and iliacus muscles and also the femoral nerve, artery and vein, and the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh.
Now, the most important feature of the inguinal region is the inguinal canal, which is a passage that extends inferomedially through the anterolateral abdominal wall. To better understand the anatomy of this canal, let’s look at how it develops!
In genetically male individuals, the testes begin to develop in the extraperitoneal space of the posterior abdominal wall, and within the first few months each testis descends into the pelvis, pulled by a structure called the gubernaculum, which attaches to the anterolateral abdominal wall - and, later, to the developing scrotum.
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