Published Online:

Knowledge of peritoneal anatomy is essential for radiologists to accurately identify the spread of tumors and fluid collections across the peritoneal spaces at cross-sectional imaging.

It is difficult to identify normal peritoneal folds and ligaments at imaging. However, infectious, inflammatory, neoplastic, and traumatic processes frequently involve the peritoneal cavity and its reflections; thus, it is important to identify the affected peritoneal ligaments and spaces. Knowledge of these structures is important for accurate reporting and helps elucidate the sites of involvement to the surgeon. The potential peritoneal spaces; the peritoneal reflections that form the peritoneal ligaments, mesenteries, and omenta; and the natural flow of peritoneal fluid determine the route of spread of intraperitoneal fluid and disease processes within the abdominal cavity. The peritoneal ligaments, mesenteries, and omenta also serve as boundaries for disease processes and as conduits for the spread of disease.

© RSNA, 2012

An earlier incorrect version of this article appeared online. This article was corrected on March 28, 2019.


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Article History

Received: Feb 22 2011
Revision requested: May 9 2011
Revision received: June 27 2011
Accepted: Aug 5 2011
Published online: Mar 5 2012
Published in print: Mar 2012