9 Regions of Abdomen

The abdomen has three layers – skin, superficial fascia and muscle. The abdomen houses important organs in the body. It is an essential area of study for doctors when they are assessing pain and illness in patients. The body of the abdomen when viewed from a frontal view is divided into nine imaginary planes, in both vertical and horizontal directions.

The nine regions of the abdomen can help determine specific ailments and are of clinical importance. This article will explain the 9 regions of abdomen, the organs in them as well as the 4 quadrants of abdomen.

9 Regions of Abdomen

Three horizontal lines and two vertical lines create nine regions of the abdomen. Below is an image of the regions of the abdomen, which are formed within these planes. “Hypo” refers to “below”, “epi” refers to “above”, “chond” refers to the cartilage of the rib and “gast” is in reference to the stomach.

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9 Regions of Abdomen

The above lines intersect and divide the abdomen into 9 regions:

  • Epigastric region (epigastrium)
  • Left hypochondrium (LHC)
  • Right hypochondrium (RHC)
  • Umbilical region
  • Left lumbar region
  • Right lumbar region
  • Hypogastric region
  • Right iliac fossa (RIF)
  • Left iliac fossa (LIF)

Watch a video for more detailed explanation:

Organs in 9 Regions of Abdomen

Location of various organs in the Abdomen according to the region

Abdomen Regions

Organs

Right Hypochondrium

Liver, Gallbladder, Right Kidney, Small Intestine

Left Hypochondrium

Spleen, Colon, Left Kidney, Pancreas

Epigastrium

Stomach, Liver, Pancreas, Duodenum, Spleen, Adrenal Glands

Right Lumber Region

Gallbladder, Liver, Right Colon

Left Lumber Region

Descending Colon, Left Kidney

Umbilical Region

Umbilicus, Jejunum, Ileum, Duodenum

Right Iliac Fossa

Appendix, Cecum

Left Iliac Fossa

Descending Colon, Sigmoid Colon

Hypogastrium

Urinary Bladder, Sigmoid Colon, Female Reproductive Organs

Below is a reference video, which explains the differential diagnosis of abdominal pain according to the abdominal region. This video explains the quadrants of the abdomen. It also discusses which issues can occur in each of the quadrants and regions of the abdomen.

4 Quadrants of Abdomen

Dividing the abdomen into various sections will help doctors determine what the cause of the illness is. The abdomen can also be divided into four quadrants:

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Abdomen Quadrants

Description

Right Upper Quadrant (RUQ)

Doctors often assess this portion to localize pain and tenderness.

Organs found in this quadrant include the liver, the gall bladder, duodenum the upper portion of the pancreas and the hepatic flexure of the colon.

The RUQ is commonly tender in cases of hepatitis, cholecystitis and with the formation of a peptic ulcer.

Right Lower Quadrant (RLQ)

The right lower quadrant extends from the median plane to the right side of the body and then from the umbilical plane to the right inguinal ligament.

Important organs found in the right lower quadrant include the appendix, the upper portion of the colon, the right ovary and Fallopian tube in women and the right ureterpenus.

The right lower quadrant may be assessed when diagnosing appendicitis in which case this quadrant would be tender and painful.

Left Upper Quadrant (LUQ)

The left upper quadrant rests alongside the RUQ. The left upper quadrant is formed by the median plane extending to the left of the patient and with the umbilical plane to the left rib cage.

Organs found in the left upper quadrant are the stomach, the spleen, the left portion of the liver, and the main body of the pancreas. The left portion of the kidney and the adrenal gland are also found in this quadrant. The splenic flexure of the colon and the bottom portion of the colon also sit in the left upper quadrant.

The LUQ will be tender and a point of interest in cases of appendicitis and abnormalities of the intestines such as malrotation.

Left Lower Quadrant (LLQ)

The left lower quadrant is located below the umbilicus plane. Essential organs found in this region include the bottom portion of the colon, the sigmoid colon, the left ovary, Fallopian tube and the left uterine tube.

The doctors will assess this area if there is abdominal pain in this region. Abdominal pain in the LLQ may be a symptom of colitis, diverticulitis, or ureteral colic. Pain in this region may also be caused by ovarian cysts or a pelvic inflammation. Tumors found in this region can be serious determinants of colon or ovarian cancer.

 
 
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