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Hypochondriac region

The abdomen can be divided into 9 regions by two horizontal and two vertical imaginary planes. Division of the abdomen into regions aids in the identification of regional anatomy in order to localize clinical symptoms and arrive at a diagnosis more quickly. 

The hypochondriac regions are the two superolateral regions of the abdomen which lie on either side of the epigastric region. The prefix “hypo” means below or under, while the word “chondriac” means cartilage, referring to the cartilage of the ribs. Therefore, the hypochondriac region is located beneath the ribcage. There is a left and right hypochondriac region.

The left hypochondriac region contains components of the stomach, top of the left lobe of the liver, the left kidney, the spleen and tail of the pancreas, parts of the small intestine and components of the transverse and descending colon.

The right hypochondriac region contains the liver and gallbladder, parts of the small intestine, components of the ascending and transverse colon and the right kidney.

Terminology English: Hypochondriac region
Latin: Regio hypochondriaca
Location  Superolateral region of abdomen 
Contents Left hypochondriac region: Part of stomach, top of left lobe of liver, left kidney, spleen, tail of pancreas, part of small intestine,  part of transverse colon, part of descending colon.

Right hypochondriac region: Liver, gallbladder, part of small intestine, part of ascending colon, part of transverse colon, right kidney

Take a closer look at the regions of the abdomen using the study unit below. 

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