Areas of the Abdomen

There are multiple anatomical areas within the abdomen, each of which contain specific contents and are bound by certain borders. The purpose of the areas of the abdomen is to compartmentalise the abdomen, or to locate various pathologies and the organ they are affecting. The main areas of the abdomen include the abdominal cavity, Calot’s triangle, the peritoneum, the inguinal canal, and Hesselbach’s triangle.

The abdominal (peritoneal) cavity is an area that normally only contains a small amount of peritoneal fluid, however can become a potential space for pathology. This area contains various subdivisions, and differs in both males and females.

Calot’s triangle is a small anatomical area within the abdomen, containing arteries and lymphatics, and this area is located where the hepatic ducts and neurovascular structures enter and exit the liver.

The peritoneum is a membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers the abdominal organs (the viscera), and it provides pathways for blood vessels and lymph to travel to and from the viscera.

The inguinal canal is an area located in the inferior part of the abdominal wall, and is significant as it provides a pathway through the abdomen, and is a point of potential weaknesses, making this area vulnerable to pathology such as a hernia.

Hesselbach’s triangle (the inguinal triangle) is an area in the anterior abdominal wall that represents a potential point of weakness, through which herniation of abdominal contents can occur.

In this section, learn more about the specific areas of the abdomen- the abdominal cavity, Calot’s triangle, the peritoneum, the inguinal canal and Hesselbach’s triangle.

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Calot’s Triangle

The Inguinal (Hesselbach’s) Triangle

The Peritoneal (Abdominal) Cavity

The Peritoneum

The Inguinal Canal



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