Linea alba (abdomen)

The white line (Latin: linea alba) is a fibrous structure that runs down the midline of the abdomen in humans and other vertebrates. In humans linea alba runs from the xiphoid process to the pubic symphysis. The name means white line and the linea alba is indeed white, being composed mostly of collagen connective tissue.

Linea alba
Diagram of sheath of Rectus.
LatinLinea alba
Anatomical terminology

It is formed by the fusion of the aponeuroses of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall, and it separates the left and right rectus abdominis muscles. In muscular individuals its presence can be seen on the skin, forming the depression between the left and right halves of a "six pack".

Because it consists of mostly connective tissue, and does not contain any primary nerves or blood vessels, a median incision through the linea alba is a common surgical approach.

Additional images

See also

  • skel&wallsabd at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University)
  • Anatomy photo:35:os-0108 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center (before removing skin)
  • Anatomy photo:35:06-0101 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center (after removing skin)
  • "Anatomy diagram: 03281.000-2". Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator. Elsevier. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01.
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