Description

The Ileum (intestinum ileum) is narrow, its diameter being 3.75 cm., and its coats thinner and less vascular than those of the jejunum.

It possesses but few circular folds, and they are small and disappear entirely toward its lower end, but aggregated lymph nodules (Peyer's patches) are larger and more numerous.

The jejunum for the most part occupies the umbilical and left iliac regions, while the ileum occupies chiefly the umbilical, hypogastric, right iliac, and pelvic regions.

The terminal part of the ileum usually lies in the pelvis, from which it ascends over the right Psoas and right iliac vessels; it ends in the right iliac fossa by opening into the medial side of the commencement of the large intestine.

The jejunum and ileum are attached to the posterior abdominal wall by an extensive fold of peritoneum, the mesentery, which allows the freest motion, so that each coil can accommodate itself to changes in form and position.

The mesentery is fan-shaped; its posterior border or root, about 15 cm. long, is attached to the posterior abdominal wall from the left side of the body of the second lumbar vertebra to the right sacroiliac articulation, crossing successively the horizontal part of the duodenum, the aorta, the inferior vena cava, the ureter, and right Psoas muscle. Its breadth between its vertebral and intestinal borders averages about 20 cm., and is greater in the middle than at its upper and lower ends. According to Lockwood it tends to increase in breadth as age advances. Between the two layers of which it is composed are contained bloodvessels, nerves, lacteals, and lymph glands, together with a variable amount of fat.


This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from http://www.bartleby.com/107/).

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