The peritoneum is the largest serous membrane of the body, it consists of a layer of simple squamous epithelium with a supporting layer of areolar connective tissue.
- The peritoneum is divided into the parietal peritoneum, which lines the wall of the abdominal cavity, and the visceral peritoneum, which covers some of the organs in the cavity.
- The space containing lubricating serous fluid that is between the parietal and visceral portions of the peritoneum is called the peritoneal cavity. Some organs are covered by peritoneum only on their anterior surfaces, including the kidneys, colons of the large intestine, duodenum of the small intestine, and pancreas are retroperitoneal.
- The peritoneum contains large folds that are found between the viscera. There are five major peritoneal folds:- the greater omentum, falciform ligament, lesser omentum, mesentery, and mesocolon.
a) The greater omentum:- Is the largest peritoneal fold, contains adipose tissue, from attachments along the stomach and duodenum, the greater omentum extends downward anterior to the small intestine and extends upward and attaches to the transverse colon.
b) The falciform ligament:– Attaches the liver to the anterior abdominal wall and diaphragm.
c) The lesser omentum:- Arises as an anterior fold of the stomach and duodenum, and it connects the stomach and duodenum to the liver.
d) Mesentery:– Binds the jejunum and ileum of the small intestine to the posterior abdominal wall. It extends from the posterior abdominal wall to wrap around the small intestine and then returns to its origin, forming a double-layered structure.
e) Mesocolon:– Binds the transverse colon and sigmoid colon of the large intestine to the posterior abdominal wall. It also carries blood and lymphatic vessels to the intestines.