The abdominal cavity is the largest hollow space in animal bodies. It is found in the torso of mammals between the thoracic cavity. A protective layer called peritoneum lines the cavity and plays a role in immunity. Peritoneum also supports organs and helps in fat storage. The cavity is divided into nine different areas and this division helps in the diagnosis of the problem based on the area where someone is experiencing pain.
Organs of the Abdominal Cavity
Stomach, Liver, Gall Bladder, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, and Spleen are the organs found in the abdominal cavity.
The two kidneys are found in the abdominal cavity, one on either side. They play important role in the such as detoxification of blood, maintaining water and acid balance and formation of urine. To each kidney is attached a tube called ureter which connects it to the urinary bladder. In addition to the functions of kidneys, there are adrenal glands found on kidneys which function in the production of important hormones like norepinephrine and ADH.
The stomach is a J-shaped digestive organ found one the left side of the abdomen. It is continuous with the esophagus and below it is the duodenum of the small intestine. There are deep folds in the wall of the stomach called rugae which gradually disappear when the stomach is full. Stomach receives the food from the esophagus, holds and mixes it with gastric juices and later moves it into the small intestine.
The liver is the largest organ in the abdomen which is found in the upper right section of the cavity. It has two lobes which are separated by a ligament. The liver is a vital organ in the body because it maintains normal glucose levels in the blood, detoxifies the blood and produces bile.
The spleen is a small organ and is a part of the immune system. It performs various functions like the production of white blood cells, storage of platelets and the destruction of dead RBCs and other harmful substances.
The pancreas is a part of the digestive system and it produces many important enzymes for digestion. It also produces insulin and glucagon, vital for the metabolism of carbohydrates in the bodies of animals.
Next to the stomach is the small intestine and it has three parts; duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. It is a long tube-shaped organ on the inner side of which are small finger-like projections called villi which help in the digestion and absorption of most of the nutrients.
The large intestine is the organ found next to the small intestine, It is also a tube-shaped organ when undigested food is sent. It is U-shaped and consists of three parts which are cecum, colon, and rectum. Although rectum is considered as a part of the pelvic cavity. Absorption of excess water and formation nutrients occurs here.