Posterior Abdominal Wall Medical Illustrations

Muscle and vascular anatomy of the posterior abdominal wall

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Posterior Abdominal Wall Anatomy

In this gallery we have completed medical illustrations regarding the posterior abdominal wall anatomy both the muscle anatomy and including illustrations of the relevant vascular anatomy. As medical artist’s we have been trained to interpret and illustrate anatomical structures and we are dedicated to producing medical illustrations of anatomy. Over the course of time we are gradually illustrating all of the human body.

In this gallery are a collection of abdominal wall illustrations in posterior view i.e looking through the front of body to see the anatomy at the back such as the pelvis, spine, rib cage, diaphragm, muscles, vascular anatomy and the kidneys.

Interesting Anatomical Facts about the Abdominal Wall

The diaphragm and posterior abdominal wall are two anatomically linked structures that support and protect the abdominal contents. It is formed and supported by the 12th thoracic vertebra and by the lumbar vertebrae and their five discs, pelvic girdle, posterior abdominal muscles and their associated fascia. Major vessels are located on the inner surface of the posterior abdominal wall and these have been shown in the illustrations in this gallery such as the abdominal aorta, the inferior vena cava, plus relevant organs such as the kidneys, the suprarenal glands, the pancreas and the duodenum.

Structures Forming the Posterior Abdominal Wall

There are five muscles in the posterior abdominal wall: the iliacus, psoas major, psoas minor, quadratus lumborum and the diaphragm. The diaphragm is an important muscle for breathing and separates the thorax from the abdomen. It forms the upper limit of the posterior abdominal wall.  The posterior abdominal wall therefore extends from the posterior attachment of the diaphragm down to the iliac crests on the pelvis. The iliac crest therefore forms the inferior boundary of the posterior abdominal wall and the iliacus muscle originates here. It also combines with the psoas major to form the iliopsoas – the major flexor of the thigh.

Vasculature of the Posterior Abdominal Wall

The vasculature consists of the abdominal aorta which is the largest artery in the abdominal cavity. It is a direct continuation of the descending aorta. It begins level with the diaphragm crossing it via the aortic hiatus.  The inferior vena cava is formed as a the result of two major leg veins coming together called the iliac veins. Once the iliac veins have merged at the fifth lumbar vertebra, the inferior vena cava begins to transport blood to the heart.

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