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Mesentery: want to learn more about it?

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Mesentery

Learning objectives:

This study unit will help you to:

1. Learn about the structure, types, and function of the mesentery.
2. Identify the structures related to the mesentery.

Watch videos

The peritoneum is a serous membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity (parietal peritoneum) and wraps the abdominal and pelvic organs (visceral peritoneum). The mesentery is an abdominal organ comprised of both layers of the peritoneum: visceral and parietal. The main function of the mesentery is to attach the intraperitoneal organs (mainly the intestines) to the abdominal wall and to provide neurovascular communication between those organs and the abdominal wall. Mesenteries include the:

  • Small intestine mesentery (mesentery proper): suspends the jejunum and the ileum
  • Mesoappendix: suspends the vermiform appendix and the cecum
  • Transverse mesocolon: suspends the transverse colon
  • Sigmoid mesocolon: suspends the sigmoid colon

This video tutorial will provide you with an overview of the mesentery.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the videos about the mesentery, test your knowledge by taking our quiz.

Browse atlas

Summary

Key points about the mesentery
Definition The mesentery is a peritoneal organ, comprised of two layers of peritoneum, that wraps around the intestines and connects them to the posterior abdominal wall
Structure Mesentery proper, transverse mesocolon, sigmoid mesocolon, mesoappendix
Function Attaches intestines to the abdominal wall, supports digestion, stores fat, participates in immune functions, provides a pathway for the neurovascular structures that supply the intestines

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Continue your learning

Now that you're familiar with the general organization and function of the mesentery, you can now proceed to the other important parts of the abdomen including the omental bursa and the retroperitoneum.

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