What is the peritoneum?

The peritoneum is a transparent membrane that lines the abdominal wall and covers and protects organs within the abdominal cavity. It supports the organs and acts as a pathway for blood vessels and lymph fluid. A liquid, peritoneal fluid, keeps the peritoneum lubricated.

The stomach, liver and spleen are completely covered by the peritoneum. The kidneys, pancreas, rectum and esophagus are partially covered by the peritoneum.

Disorders of the peritoneum, including cancer and peritonitis (swelling and irritation) are rare.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.