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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
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Figure 1: Arterial supply of the posterior abdominal wall.
Figure 2: Venous drainage of the posterior abdominal wall, showing some of the veins that correspond to the paired parietal branches of the aorta.
Figure 3: Tributaries of the hepatic portal vein which correspond to the unpaired visceral branches of the aorta.
Figure 4: Blood supply and venous drainage of the kidneys and suprarenal glands.
Figure 5: Vessels passing between the abdomen and thorax through the caval opening and aortic hiatus.
The major vessels of the abdomen, including the abdominal aorta and the inferior vena cava, course along the posterior abdominal wall. Branches and tributaries of these vessels help supply and drain the posterior abdominal wall, and the abdominal viscera. Important lymphatic vessels that help with drainage of the lower body are also found in this area.
Let’s start off with the abdominal aorta, which gives rise to most of the arteries supplying the posterior abdominal wall. It transitions from the thoracic aorta to the abdominal aorta starting at the aortic hiatus, located within the diaphragm, at the level of the T12 vertebra. Then, it descends anterior to the vertebral bodies and ends at the level of the L4 vertebra.
From superior to inferior, the abdominal aorta has a number of structures associated with it anteriorly. These include the celiac plexus and ganglia, the body of the pancreas, the splenic vein, the left renal vein, the horizontal part of the duodenum and the coils of the small intestine.
Structures to the right of the abdominal aorta include the inferior vena cava, azygos vein, cisterna chyli, and the thoracic duct. Posteriorly, the left lumbar veins pass behind the aorta to reach the inferior vena cava.
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