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Neurovasculature of the abdominal wall: want to learn more about it?

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Neurovasculature of the abdominal wall

Learning objectives

This study unit will help you to:

  1. Learn about the abdominal wall and its function.
  2. Identify the arteries, veins and nerves related to the abdominal wall.
  3. Distinguish the neurovascular structures of the anterolateral and posterior abdominal walls.

Watch videos

The abdominal wall is a multilayered structure that encloses the abdominal cavity. Its main functions are to protect the abdominal viscera, maintain its stability, as well as to assist in actions that involve the increase of intra-abdominal pressure (coughing, vomiting, defecation). It can be divided into two main sections: the anterolateral wall and posterior abdominal wall;

  • The anterolateral abdominal wall consists of four main layers (from superficial to deep): skin, superficial fascia, muscles and associated fascia, and parietal peritoneum.
  • The posterior abdominal wall is formed by the lumbar vertebrae, pelvic girdle, posterior abdominal muscles and their associated fascia. Major vessels, nerves and organs are located on the inner surface of the posterior abdominal wall.

This video tutorial will provide you with an overview of the neurovasculature of abdominal wall.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the videos about the neurovasculature of abdominal wall, test your knowledge by taking our quiz.

You can also create your own quiz with our custom quiz creator. On the link below you’ll find the presets for a quiz about all the structures of the abdominal wall, including the muscles, bones, ligaments and neurovasculature.

Browse atlas

Now you can study each structure individually with our image galleries. 

Summary

Key points about the neurovasculature of the anterolateral abdominal wall
Arteries Internal thoracic artery and its branches (musculophrenic artery, superior epigastric artery), 10th and 11th posterior intercostal arteries, subcostal artery, inferior epigastric artery, deep circumflex iliac artery, superficial circumflex iliac artery, superficial epigastric artery
Veins  Superficial epigastric vein, superior epigastric vein, inferior epigastric vein, thoracoepigastric vein, subcostal vein
Nerves Thoracoabdominal nerves, lateral cutaneous branches of intercostal nerves 7-11, subcostal nerve, iliohypogastric nerve, ilioinguinal nerve
Key points about the neurovasculature of the posterior abdominal wall
Arteries Abdominal aorta and its branches (subcostal artery, inferior phrenic artery, lumbar arteries, median sacral artery)
Veins  Inferior vena cava and its tributaries (inferior phrenic veins, lumbar veins, and  common iliac veins)
Nerves Aortic and periarterial nervous plexuses

Well done!

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Continue your learning

Now that you're familiar with the general organization of the neurovasculature of abdominal wall continue your learning by reading about the neurovasculature of the thorax and the intercostal spaces.

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