Abdominal Anatomy

Injury to any region of the abdomen can of course create injury to any of the organs contained therein. However, commonly injury to a specific area will result in injury to those organs contained within that locality. 


Region Organs potentially injured
Lower chest Liver, spleen, diaphragm, stomach
Anterior abdomen Liver, spleen, colon, bladder, stomach, pancreas, transverse colon, ileum, jejunum
Flank Kidneys, ureters, ascending and descending colon
Posterior abdomen Great vessels, duodenum, pancreas, spinal cord


Fig 1 Organs of the lower chest (mid to lower thoracic cage) – 15% of stab wounds to this area are associated with significant visceral damage

Fig 2 Organs of the anterior abdomen (between anterior axillary lines) – 60% of injuries to this region penetrate the peritoneum and, of these, 40–50% cause visceral damage

Fig 3 Organs of the flank (between anterior and posterior axillary lines)

Fig 4 Organs of the posterior abdomen (from posterior axillary lines medially to spine)