Embryological development of the peritoneum

By O.P. (Paul) Gobée, dept. of Anatomy and Embryology, Leiden University Medical Center, last update: 17 feb 2018

 

Just memorizing which abdominal structures are intraperitoneal or retroperitoneal is quite dull. Instead, if one understands how the configuration arose during the embryological development it starts making sense and is far easier to remember. Also, understanding this is essential to understand abdominal surgery.

 

Peritoneal development demonstrated with a model

The embryological rotations of the gut tube and how this leads to the configuration of the peritoneum are shown with a model. Also some surgical applications are discussed. The development is split into four steps (these steps overlap in time, but are separated here for clarity):

Video 1: Introduction: embryological structures before the rotations.
This video gives you the basis for the other three videos. It shows the dorsal and ventral mesenteries and the original bulging out of the embryo of the intestines. It shows the original intraperitoneal structures and the location of the retroperitoneal structures. (8m09s)

Video 2: Rotation of stomach, duodenum and pancreas.
This video shows how the rotation of the stomach forms the omental bursa. Also, it shows the duodenum becoming adhered to the back wall (becoming secondary retroperitoneal). Detaching this adherence is a common procedure in several abdominal surgical procedures. (3m57s)

Video 3: Rotation and retraction into the abdomen of the intestines.
In this video the 'magic' happens: the rotation of the intestines leads to the well known configuration of the colon surrounding the small intestines with the transverse colon crossing of the small intestine. (8m18s)

Video 4: bulging out and adherence of the greater omentum.
This video shows the bulging out of the dorsal mesentery of the stomach  forming the greater omentum. Did you know that the cavity between the layers of the greater omentum originally was a continuity of the omental bursa? See it here. Then it is shown that the greater omentum adheres to the transverse colon and transverse mesocolon. This leads, in the adult configuration, to the transverse colon being lifted when one lifts the greater omentum. The video ends with a recap of the borders of the omental bursa, which is now completed. (4m07)

 

A one minute compilation video of the above four video's is here.

 

Read more...
Gut rotation in the embryo

This video by Beerend Hierck PhD presents methods to simulate and remember the rotation directions of parts of the intestines, using your own hand and arm. It connects those to a slick animation. (6m49s)

 

Folding of the embryo

This video by Beerend Hierck PhD connects the peritoneum to its early embryonic origin: the lateral plate mesoderm. It shows, how in reality, the peritoneal cavity forms around the gut tube, instead of the mostly used and easy to understand, but in fact incorrect, metaphor of the gut being pushed into the 'peritoneum balloon'. (6m42s)

 

Medical Embryology - Development of Body cavities, Intraembryonic coelom, and diaphragm

This video by Dr. Peter J. Ward, Ph.D. shows with hand-made drawings how the body cavities (pericardial, pleural, and peritoneal) develop and separate from each other.  It connects the visceral and parietal serous membranes that line those cavities to their early embryonic counterparts: the splanchnic and somatic lateral plate mesoderm. Also it shows where the amnion, the yolk sac and the coelom are. (13m18s)

 



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Understanding how the embryological rotations of the gut tube leads to the adult configuration greatly helps remembering the different peritoneal locations (and makes it more fun!). This page will explain, and show it! Also some surgical applications will be discussed.
Anatomical structures in item:
Peritoneum
Uploaded by: opgobee Netherlands, Leiden – Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden University
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Embryological development of the peritoneum
Uploaded by: opgobee
Institution: Netherlands, Leiden – Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden University
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Understanding how the embryological rotations of the gut tube leads to the adult configuration greatly helps remembering the different peritoneal locations (and makes it more fun!). This page will explain, and show it! Also some surgical applications will be discussed.
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Anatomical structures in item
Peritoneum
Topics
Gross