Our body is made up of various organs and in between these organs are spaces and cavities which perform the function of conduit between the two organs. Abdomen, intestines, liver and kidney and all the other important functional organs have such spaces and cavities in between them. Peritoneal cavity is located inside the You do not have access to view this node, with thoracic cavity placed above it and the pelvic cavity below it and lies posterior to diaphragm.
Peritoneum is a thin transparent substance that forms a lining of the You do not have access to view this node and the viscera. The lining of You do not have access to view this node is called parietal peritoneum and that of the viscera as visceral peritoneum. The peritoneal cavity is the space between the two layers of Peritoneum.
In the abdomen when the peritoneum layers enclose a potential space, it is called as peritoneal cavity. This cavity is present in the coelom of mammals. The other cavities are pericardial cavity and pleural cavity. Peritoneal cavity is the space present between the parietal (outer) and visceral peritoneum membrane (inner). These membranes are known to form lining of the abdomen and are semi permeable, smooth and transparent.
The two divisions of peritoneal cavity are - greater sac and lesser sac. The greater sac is again divided by the transverse colon into supracolic and infracolic compartments. The supracolic compartment comprise of liver, stomach and gall bladder while, the infracolic compartment constitutes intestines. The lesser sac also known as the omental bursa, opens through epiploic foramen into the peritoneal cavity just behind the stomach.
The visceral peritoneum mostly covers those organs which lay suspended from abdomen’s wall. Organs having mesentery support with covering of peritoneum are called as intra peritoneal organ. Some of the examples of such organs are spleen, liver, gall bladder, small intestine and colon. When the organs are covered partially and are without any support from mesentery, they are termed as extraperitoneal or retroperitoneal organs. Some examples are uterus, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, duodenum, descending and ascending colon. The peritoneal cavity constitutes a lubricating fluid of pale yellow color in small quantity. Near about 50 ml fluid of serous is stored every day. The fluid is important as it helps the friction in between the various organs located in the peritoneal cavity. This fluid comprises of antibodies, some biochemicals and white blood You do not have access to view this node.
In males, the peritoneal cavity is closed while in the females, there lay a connection between reproductive organs and peritoneal cavity, as the oviducts or the uterine tubes open in the peritoneal cavity laterally. Due to this women are more vulnerable to peritoneal infections.
Many times fluid levels in the cavity increase beyond normal level due to which it gets accumulated in the abdomen excessively. This fluid is termed as ascitic fluid and forms a condition called as ascites. This is one of the common reasons of liver cirrhosis. The symptoms of this disease are increasing abdominal girth, shortness of breath or extreme fatigue. Water restriction or diuretics are some of the ways by which the fluid level can be maintained.
Peritoneal cancer also known as peritoneal mesothelioma is another type of common disease associated with peritoneal cavity. Its common symptoms include frequent urination, nausea, and constipation, pain in the abdomen, sudden weight gain or loss, loss of appetite or vaginal bleeding. The common treatments are chemotherapy and palliative treatment or You do not have access to view this node.