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Digestive System



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Mesenteries consist of two folds of peritoneum reflected from the parietal peritoneum. It can vary in length, as well as the amount of connective or adipose tissue between the two layers. Neurovascular supply travels through the mesentery to gain access to the organ it supplies, for example the right and left gastric vessels travel within hepatogastric ligament of the lesser omentum.

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Anatomical Relations

The mesentery, sometimes called peritoneal ligaments, consists of two layers of peritoneum reflected off the abdominal wall to encase the viscera/organs of the body. In this way, it's the intermediary between the parietal and visceral peritoneum. For example, the mesentery of the small intestine originates from a root of parietal peritoneum, which extends obliquely from the duodenojejunal flexure on the left side of the body to the sacroiliac joint on the right. Due to its short length at its root and the fact it holds the entire length of the small intestine, the mesentery is folded multiple times distally to increase its total length. At its distal end, the mesentery splits around the organ, thus covering it as visceral peritoneum.


Mesenteries act as a conduit for nerves, vasculature, and lymphatics to reach the respective organ that it encloses (Standring, 2016). Their length can be variable. It usually encloses organs that require changes in volume or are dynamically active, such as the small intestines which are involved in peristalsis.

List of Clinical Correlates



Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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The mesentery is defined as a membranous bilayer of peritoneum that attaches an organ to the body wall.

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