Abdomen
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  Abdomen



Abdomen

    The area between the chest and the hips. Contains the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen.

RELATED TERMS
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Chest
The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains the lungs, the heart and part of the aorta. The walls of the chest are supported by the dorsal vertebrae, the ribs, and the sternum.

Hips
The projecting part on each side of the body, formed by the side of the pelvis and the top portion of the femur.

Stomach
The organ between the esophagus and the small intestine. The stomach is where digestion of protein begins.

Intestine
The tube involved in digestion and extending from the stomach to the anus. Consists of the small intestine and the large intestine.

Liver
The largest organ in the body. The liver carries out many important functions, such as making bile, changing food into energy, and cleaning alcohol and poisons from the blood.

Gallbladder
The storage sac for bile, located below the liver.

Pancreas
A large, elongated gland located behind the lower portion of the stomach that secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon into the blood. These hormones are essential in regulating blood sugar levels. The pancreas also secretes enzymes into the small intestine that help with digestion and neutralize acid from the stomach.

Spleen
The organ that cleans blood and makes white blood cells.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Abdomens
That portion of the body that lies between the thorax and the pelvis.

Abdomens, Acute
Clinical syndrome characterized by abdominal pain of great severity associated with other symptoms and signs, usually those of acute peritonitis, which might well be the result of a ruptured abdominal viscus or a similar abdominal catastrophe requiring urgent surgical operation.

Abdominal
Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm, the powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs. The abdomen includes a host of organs including the stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, appendix, gallbladder, and bladder. The word "abdomen" has a curious story behind it. It comes from the Latin "abdodere", to hide. The idea was that whatever was eaten was hidden in the abdomen.

Abdominal Abscesses
An abscess located in the abdominal cavity, i.e., the cavity between the diaphragm above and the pelvis below. (From Dorland, 27th ed)

Abdominal aneurysm
An aneurysm situated within the abdomen (belly). An aneurysm is a localized widening (dilatation) of an artery, vein, or the heart. At the area of an aneurysm, there is typically a bulge and the wall is weakened and may rupture. The word "aneurysm" comes from the Greek "aneurysma" meaning "a widening." An aneurysm may involve the aorta, the largest artery in the body, as it courses down through the abdomen. Because of the great volume of blood flowing under high pressure in the aorta, rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is a surefire catastrophe.

Abdominal aorta
The abdominal aorta is the final section of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. It is a continuation of the thoracic aorta. It begins at the diaphragm, and runs down to the point where it ends (by splitting in two to form the common iliac arteries). The abdominal aorta supplies oxygenated blood to all of the abdominal and pelvic organs and the legs. Like the other sections of the aorta (the ascending aorta, aortic arch and thoracic aorta), the abdominal aorta is an arbitrary anatomic entity. The aorta is one continuous conduit that arises out of the left ventricle of the heart to carry blood to the body. Nonetheless, the abdominal aorta is a hallowed and convenient subdivision of the aorta. The abdominal aorta is also known in medical Latin as the aorta abdominalis or the pars abdominalis aortae (under which it is often hidden in standard print medical dictionaries).

Abdominal Aortas
The aorta from the diaphragm to the bifurcation into the right and left common iliac arteries.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm
A ballooning or widening of the main artery (the aorta) as it courses down through the abdomen. At the point of the aneurysm, the aneurysm usually measures 3 cm or more in diameter. The aneurysm weakens the wall of the aorta and can end in the aorta rupturing with catastrophic consequences. As the diameter of the aorta increases, the chances of an AAA rupturing rise. A measurement of 5 cm is often used to recommend surgery. Persons with AAA tend to be 60 or over. Men are 5 times more likely than women to have an AAA.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
An aneurysm in that part of the aorta continuing from the thoracic region and giving rise to the inferior phrenic, lumbar, median sacral, mesenteric, renal, and ovarian or testicular arteries.

Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound
A non-invasive imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to view the structures of the abdomen and determine the presence of an aneurysm

Abdominal bracing
Technique of tensing the stomach muscles to support the spine.

Abdominal cavity
The cavity within the abdomen, the space between the abdominal wall and the spine. The abdominal cavity is hardly an empty space. It contains a number of crucial organs including the lower part of the esophagus, the stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, and bladder.

Abdominal Cramps
Paroxysms of pain. This condition usually occurs in the abdominal region but may occur in other body regions as well.

Abdominal Decompression
External decompression applied to the lower body. It is used to study orthostatic intolerance and the effects of gravitation and acceleration, to produce simulated hemorrhage in physiologic research, to assess cardiovascular function, and to reduce abdominal stress during childbirth.

Abdominal Delivery
Extraction of the fetus by means of abdominal hysterotomy.

Abdominal Epilepsy
Conditions characterized by recurrent paroxysmal neuronal discharges which arise from a focal region of the brain. Partial seizures are divided into simple and complex, depending on whether consciousness is unaltered (simple partial seizure) or disturbed (complex partial seizure). Both types may feature a wide variety of motor, sensory, and autonomic symptoms. Partial seizures may be classified by associated clinical features or anatomic location of the seizure focus. A secondary generalized seizure refers to a partial seizure that spreads to involve the brain diffusely. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp317)

Abdominal Fibromatosis
A relatively large mass of unusually firm scarlike connective tissue resulting from active participation of fibroblasts, occurring most frequently in the abdominal muscles of women who have borne children. The fibroblasts infiltrate surrounding muscle and fascia. (Stedman, 25th ed)

Abdominal guarding
Tensing of the abdominal wall muscles to guard inflamed organs within the abdomen from the pain of pressure upon them. The tensing is detected when the abdomen wall is pressed. Guarding is a characteristic finding in the physical examination for an abruptly painful abdomen (an acute abdomen) with inflammation of the inner abdominal (peritoneal) surface due, for example, to appendicitis or diverticulitis. The tensed muscles of the abdominal wall automatically go into spasm to keep the tender underlying tissues from being touched.

Abdominal hysterectomy
The uterus is removed through the abdomen via a surgical incision.

Abdominal Injury
General or unspecified injuries involving organs in the abdominal cavity.

Abdominal Migraines
A subtype of vascular headaches characterized by periodic unilateral pulsatile headaches which begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adult life and recur with diminishing frequency during advancing years. The two major subtypes are CLASSIC MIGRAINE (i.e., migraine with aura) and COMMON MIGRAINE (i.e., migraine without aura). Migrainous episodes may be associated with alterations in cerebral blood flow. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p172)

Abdominal Muscle
Muscles forming the wall of the abdomen including rectus abdominis, external and internal oblique muscles, transversus abdominis, and quadratus abdominis. (Stedman, 25th ed)

Abdominal muscle deficiency syndrome
Partial or complete absence of the abdominal muscles so that the outlines of the intestines are visible through the thin, lax, protruding abdominal wall. Also called the "prune belly syndrome." The full syndrome probably occurs only in males. In addition to the abdominal muscle deficiency, there are genital and urinary abnormalities including dilation (widening) of the urinary tract and cryptorchidism (failure for the testes to descend into the scrotum). There is also a form of abdominal muscle deficiency that is associated with narrowing (stenosis) of the pulmonary artery, mental retardation and deafness. It occurs in both boys and girls.

Abdominal muscles
A large group of muscles in the front of the abdomen that assists in the regular breathing movement and supports the muscles of the spine while lifting and keeping abdominal organs such as the intestines in place. Abdominal muscles play a key role in exercises such as "sit-ups." They are informally called the "abs".

Abdominal pain
Pain in the belly (the abdomen). Abdominal pain can come from conditions affecting a variety of organs. The abdomen is an anatomical area that is bounded by the lower margin of the ribs above, the pelvic bone (pubic ramus) below, and the flanks on each side. Although abdominal pain can arise from the tissues of the abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity (the skin and abdominal wall muscles), the term abdominal pain generally is used to describe pain originating from organs within the abdominal cavity (from beneath the skin and muscles). These organs include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.

Abdominal Pains
Sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal region.

Abdominal Polyradiculopathies
Disease or injury involving multiple SPINAL NERVE ROOTS. Polyradiculitis refers to inflammation of multiple spinal nerve roots.

Abdominal Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy with development of the fetus in the abdominal cavity. (Dorland, 27th ed)

Abdominal Radiography
Radiographic visualization of the body between the thorax and the pelvis, i.e., within the peritoneal cavity.

Abdominal Typhus
An acute systemic febrile infection caused by SALMONELLA TYPHI.



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Alternate pathway
The mechanism of complement activation that does not involve activation of the C1, C4, C2 pathway by antigen-antibody complexes, and begins with the activation of C3.

Alternative pathway
The mechanism of complement activation that does not involve activation of the C1, C4, C2 pathway by antigen-antibody complexes, and begins with the activation of C3.

Algiderm
Calcium alginate gel with ability absorb 20 times its own weight in exudate.

Alfalfa
Latin name: Medicago Sativa. Alfalfa can be taken as a capsule, tablet, tea or the dried plant itself. Perennial member of the family Fabaceae and is one of the most common, cultivated forage plants being fed to animals either as hay or in a dehydrated form. Alfalfa grows on the side of the road and leaves a peculiar green haze and pungent smell in the air. Alfalfa is promoted as a detoxifier, said to cleanse the liver and bloodstream. Nutritious source of beta carotene, calcium, chlorophyll, and the vitamins D, E and K. Studies have noted a link between consumption of high doses of Alfalfa with the onset, or aggravation of, existing Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Those diagnosed with Lupus should avoid alfalfa products entirely.

Atkins diet
The Atkins Nutritional Approach, popularly known as the Atkins Diet or just Atkins, is a popular but controversial high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.

Abdomen

Abdominal bracing
Technique of tensing the stomach muscles to support the spine.

Abdominal hysterectomy
The uterus is removed through the abdomen via a surgical incision.

Ablation
Elimination or removal.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE)
A medication that lowers blood pressure.

Absorption
The way nutrients from food move from the small intestine into the cells in the body.

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