Abdominal wall

In anatomy, the abdominal wall represents the boundaries of the abdominal cavity. The abdominal wall is split into the anterolateral and posterior walls.[1]

Abdominal wall
Body cavities
Diagram of sheath of Rectus above the arcuate line.
Latinparies abdominalis
Anatomical terminology

There is a common set of layers covering and forming all the walls: the deepest being the visceral peritoneum, which covers many of the abdominal organs (most of the large and small intestines, for example), and the parietal peritoneum- which covers the visceral peritoneum below it, the extraperitoneal fat, the transversalis fascia, the internal and external oblique and transversus abdominis aponeurosis, and a layer of fascia, which has different names according to what it covers (e.g., transversalis, psoas fascia).[2]

In medical vernacular, the term 'abdominal wall' most commonly refers to the layers composing the anterior abdominal wall which, in addition to the layers mentioned above, includes the three layers of muscle: the transversus abdominis (transverse abdominal muscle), the internal (obliquus internus) and the external oblique (obliquus externus).[1][2][3]

Layers of anterolateral abdominal wall

In human anatomy, the layers of the anterolateral abdominal wall are (from superficial to deep):[1][2]

Inner surface

The surface contains several ligaments separated by fossae:[4]

Ligament/foldRemnant ofLateral fossaHernia
median umbilical ligamenturachussupravesical fossasupravesical hernia (rare)
medial umbilical ligamentumbilical arterymedial inguinal fossadirect inguinal hernia
lateral umbilical foldinferior epigastric vesselslateral inguinal fossaindirect inguinal hernia

See also


  1. Moore, Keith L.; Dalley, Arthur F.; Agur, Anne M.R. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 180–186. ISBN 978-1-4511-1945-9.
  2. Drake, Richard L; Vogl, A. Wayne; Mitchell, Adam W. M. (2015). Gray's Anatomy For Students. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone. pp. 259–260. ISBN 978-0-7020-5131-9.
  3. "Duke Anatomy - Lab 5: Anterior Abdominal Body Wall & Abdominal Viscera". web.duke.edu. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  4. "(PDF) Morphologic Variations of the Umbilical Ring, Umbilical Ligaments and Ligamentum Teres Hepatis". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
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