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Digestive system and peritoneum


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Alimentary tract
Term for the entire length of digestive tubing between the mouth and the anus
Parotid gland
Large salivary gland posterior to the ramus (vertical part) of the mandible
Oesophagus
Muscular tube (partly skeletal and partly smooth) extending within the posterior mediastinum from the laryngopharynx to the stomach
Cardia
The area of the stomach surrounding the gastro-oesophageal junction
Lower oesophageal sphincter
Ring of smooth muscle preventing reflux of stomach contents into the oesophagus
Fundus
Most superior part of the stomach, bulging towards the left hemidiaphragm
Pylorus
Inferior section of the stomach involved in grinding chyme and ejecting it into the duodenum
Duodenum
~25cm proximal section of the small intestine, forming an arc around the head of the pancreas
Jejunum
Middle section of the small intestine, and the main site of absorption in the gut
Ileum
Terminal section of the small intestine, rich in Peyer's patches (lymphoid tissue)
Caecum
Proximal structure of the large intestine, with openings into the ileum and appendix
Ascending colon
Region of colon between the caecum and hepatic flexure
Hepatic flexure
Angle between the ascending and transverse colon
Transverse colon
Region of colon between the hepatic and splenic flexures
Splenic flexure
Angle between the transverse and descending colon
Descending colon
Region of colon between the splenic flexure and sigmoid colon
Sigmoid colon
Region of the colon between the descending colon and the rectum
Rectum
Terminal part of the colon, between the sigmoid colon and anal canal
Rugae
Internal folds of the stomach when its walls are relaxed, permitting distension
Plicae circulares
Circular folds of the small intestine, increasing the surface area of the enteric mucosa
Villi
Luminal extensions of the mucosa of the small intestine, increasing the surface area of the enteric mucosa
Brush border
Striated luminal face of enterocytes in the small intestine, involved in sugar digestion
Crypts
Mucosal invaginations of the gut wall, particularly prominent in the large intestine, in which enterocytes develop prior to emerging luminally
Taeniae coli
A longitudinal muscular band running along the entire length of the colon, involved in peristalsis (rhythmic contraction to propel contents)
Haustra
Compartments of the colon formed by the action of peristaltic muscles
Submucosa
Layer of mostly fibrocollagenous tissue just deep to the mucosa of structures within the alimentary tract
Muscularis propria
Dual layer of smooth muscle (concentric and longitudinal) within the gut wall; deep to the submucosa
Adventitia
Outer layer of the gut wall where the gut is retroperitoneal (fixed to surrounding structures on the posterior abdominal wall)
Serosa
Outer layer of the gut wall where the gut is intraperitoneal (loose in the abdomen)
Peritoneum
The lining of the abdominal cavity and its organs
Parietal peritoneum
Part of the peritoneum which covers the abdominal wall
Visceral peritoneum
Part of the peritoneum which covers the abdominal organs
Lesser omentum
Double layer of peritoneum between the liver and the lesser curvature of the stomach
Greater omentum
Large lip of peritoneum which hangs over the anterior edge of the sigmoid colon and covers the small intestine. Rich in adipose and lymphoid tissue
Transverse mesocolon
Double layer of peritoneum which links the transverse colon to the posterior abdominal wall
Mesentery
Deeply convoluted section of peritoneum which supports the small intestine and sigmoid colon
Foregut
Embryologically and anatomically related group of organs comprising: the liver, pancreas, spleen, stomach and superior duodenum
Midgut
Embryologically and anatomically related group of organs comprising: the small intestine distal to the superior duodenum and the large intestine proximal to the splenic flexure
Hindgut
Embryologically and anatomically related group of organs comprising: the large intestine distal to the splenic flexure and the upper anal canal
Coeliac trunk
Vessel which supplies the vasculature of the organs of the foregut
Superior mesenteric artery
Vessel which supplies the vasculature of the organs of the midgut
Inferior mesenteric artery
Vessel which supplies the vasculature of the organs of the hindgut