noun, plural: peritonea
(anatomy) The serous membrane forming the lining of the abdominal cavity orcoelom
Of, pertaining to, or relating to theperitoneum
The peritoneum is the The serous membrane forming the lining of the abdominal cavity orcoelom. Inmammals, it lines theabdomenand is folded over theviscera. In other animals, such as someamniotes andinvertebrates, the peritoneum lines the coelom cavity. The peritoneum covers most of the abdominal or coelomic organs. Thus, it functions by supporting these organs as well as by serving as a conduit for theirblood vessels, lymph vessels, andnerves.
The peritoneum is made up of a layer of mesothelium that is supported by a thin layer ofconnective tissue. It may appear as one continuous sheet but there are two types of layers that exist: the parietal peritoneum (outer layer) and the visceral peritoneum (inner layer). In between these two layers is a space filled with serous fluid. This space is referred to as the peritoneal cavity.
Word origin:Ancient Greekperí(“around”) +tónos(“stretch”) + –aios(“suffix to form an adjective”)