peritoneal, adj.peritoneally, adv.
/per'i tn ee"euhm/, n., pl. peritoneums, peritonea /-tn ee"euh/. Anat.
the serous membrane lining the abdominal cavity and investing its viscera.
[1535-45; < LL, var. sp. of peritonaeum < Gk peritónaion, n. use of neut. of peritónaios, synonymous deriv. of perítonos stretched round. See PERI-, TONE, -EOUS]

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      large membrane in the abdominal cavity that connects and supports internal organs. It is composed of many folds that pass between or around the various organs. Two folds are of primary importance: the omentum, which hangs in front of the stomach and intestine; and the mesentery, which attaches the small intestine and much of the large intestine to the posterior abdominal cavity.

      The omentum and mesentery contain blood vessels, nerves, lymph nodes, fat, elastic fibres for stretching, and collagen fibres for strength. The omentum is thinner than the mesentery and is lacy in appearance. It contains large quantities of fat that serve to keep the organs warm. The mesentery is fan-shaped and well-supplied with blood vessels that radiate to the intestine.

      The functions of these membranes are to prevent friction between closely packed organs by secreting serum that acts as a lubricant, to help hold the abdominal organs in their proper positions, to separate and unite organs, and to guard as a barrier against infection.

       peritonitis, an inflammation of the peritoneum, results from bacteria entering a perforation in the gastrointestinal tract. A ruptured appendix is a common cause of peritonitis. Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever. If antibiotics do not prove successful, surgery may be necessary to remove the source of the infection entirely.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Peritoneum — Per i*to*ne um, n. [L. peritoneum, peritonaeum, Gr. ?, ?, fr. ? to stretch all around or over; ? around + ? to stretch.] (Anat.) The smooth serous membrane which lines the cavity of the abdomen, or the whole body cavity when there is no diaphragm …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Peritoneum — ⇒ Bauchfell …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • peritoneum — 1540s, from L.L. peritonaeum (c.420), from Gk. peritonaion abdominal membrane, lit. part stretched over, from neut. of peritonaios stretched over, from peri around (see PERI (Cf. peri )) + teinein to stretch (see TENET (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • peritoneum — peritonèum m DEFINICIJA anat. tanka ovojnica koja s unutrašnje strane pokriva trbušnu šupljinu i prelazi na neke trbušne organe; potrbušnica ETIMOLOGIJA lat. peritonaeum ← grč. peritónaion ≃ peri + teínein: napinjati …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • peritoneum — ► NOUN (pl. peritoneums or peritonea) ▪ the membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen and covering the abdominal organs. DERIVATIVES peritoneal adjective. ORIGIN Latin, from peritonos stretched round …   English terms dictionary

  • peritoneum — [per΄ə tə nē′əm] n. pl. peritonea [per΄ə tə nē′ə] or peritoneums [LL < Gr peritonaion < peri , around + teinein, to stretch: see THIN] the transparent serous membrane lining the abdominal cavity and reflected inward at various places to… …   English World dictionary

  • Peritoneum — Infobox Anatomy Name = Peritoneum Latin = GraySubject = 246 GrayPage = 1149 Caption = The peritoneum, coloured in blue Caption2 = The epiploic foramen, greater sac or general cavity (red) and lesser sac, or omental bursa (blue). (Areas outlined… …   Wikipedia

  • Peritoneum — Das Peritoneum (von griech. peritonaion „das Ausgespannte“) oder Bauchfell kleidet als seröse Haut den Bauchraum aus. Es umgibt die meisten inneren Organe unterhalb des Zwerchfells bis zum Eingang des kleinen Beckens. Es ist durch ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Peritoneum — The membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers most of the abdominal organs. (From the Greek peri meaning around + tonos meaning a stretching = a stretching around). * * * The serous sac, consisting of mesothelium and a thin layer of… …   Medical dictionary

  • peritoneum — n. the serous membrane of the abdominal cavity (see illustration). The parietal peritoneum lines the walls of the abdomen, and the visceral peritoneum covers the abdominal organs. See also mesentery, omentum. Derivatives: peritoneal adj …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • peritoneum — (plural peritonea)) a membrane covering the body cavity (coelomic cavity) including the viscera. Often its color, light, speckled or black is of taxonomic significance. There are visceral and parietal peritonea, q.v. A black peritoneum may… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

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