THE PERITONEAL CAVITY AND PERITONEUM
P'eritoneum is a fibroserous
membrane lining the
abdominopelvic cavity. The mesothelial cells liningthe
inner surface of the peritoneum secrete, thin film of
fluid into the peritoneal cavity. It provides slippery
surtace for the free movements of the viscera.
Theperitoneum consists_ofvisceral and parietl
layers. The visceral peritoneum covers theexternal
Surtace of many digestiveorgans.and iscontinuoswithn
the parietal peritoneum, which lines the walls of the
abdominal cavity. Between the visceral and parietal
peritoneum is the peritoneal cavity, containing serous
Some of the abdominal organs are fixed to the
abdominal wall by peritoneum and others are
suspended by peritoneal folds. Such peritoneal folds
allow the free movements of those organs.
Omenta are the peritoneal folds of the stomach.
Mesentery is the peritoneal fold of the intestine.
The general peritonealcavityis divided into greater
and lesser sacs.
In male pelvis, the peritoneal pouch between the
urinary bladder and the rectum is called 'rectovesical
pouch'. In females the peritoneum lining of the pelvic
organs forms two pouches. 'Rectouterine pouch' (pouch
of Douglas) between rectum and uterus and 'utero-
vesical pouch' between uterus and urinary bladder.
The visceral peritoneum is supplied by nerves and
vessels supplying the viscera. The parietal peritoneum
is supplied by nerve
supplying the body wall (somatic
nerve). Hence infections affecting parietal peritoneum
painful and are referred in the body wall.