Anatomy of the abdomen and digestive system: illustrations


Antoine Micheau , Denis Hoa

Published on

Friday 13 December 2019


Thorax, Abdomen, Pelvis



Anatomical parts

Anatomy of the abdomen and digestive system: illustrations

This e-Anatomy illustrates the gross anatomy of the digestive system. We focused especially on the diagrams of the abdominal digestive system (oesophagus is described on the modules about the thorax and oral cavity/pharynx on the ENT modules).

83 anatomical diagrams and histological images with over 300 labeled anatomical parts.

This digestive anatomy tool is especially designed for students of medicine and paramedical studies.


Anatomical illustrations of the digestive system

All the anatomical illustrations are original and created by Antoine Micheau - MD. They were drawn on Photoshop or Illustrator using 3D models derived from medical imaging (principally abdominal scan).
The anatomical drawings were organized in a fairly classical way to be easily used as a standard anatomical atlas. The user can browse between different groups of images using the "Series" tab:

  • Digestive system: general diagram showing all the major structures included in this system: mouth, tongue, oral cavity, teeth, buccal glands, throat, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine (duodenum, jejunum and ileum), large intestine (colon, rectum, anal canal and anus), liver, gall bladder and pancreas. Please note that the spleen is not part of the digestive system but belongs to the lymphoid system, however it still appears on this module because of its location close to the various digestive organs.


Alimentary system - Schematic: General Anatomy

Alimentary system , Schematic: General Anatomy


  • Abdominal cavity: illustration showing the main organs of the abdomen with their projections on the different quadrants of the abdominal wall (upper quadrant, flank, groin, epigastrium, umbilical region and hypogastrium).


Abdominal cavity: General Anatomy

Abdominal cavity: General Anatomy


  • Peritoneal cavity: series of anatomical charts to view the architecture and organisation of the abdominal cavity from the superficial to deeper planes, especially to view the greater and lesser omenta, the omental bursa, the mesocolons, the mesentery and its root. An axial and a sagittal section allows the study of the recess of the peritoneal cavity.


Peritoneal cavity:Root of mesentery, Mesocolon, Lesser omentum, Greater omentum, Omental bursa; Lesser sac

Peritoneal cavity

Abdomen - Axial cross section: Omental bursa; Lesser sac, Omental foramen; Epiploic foramen

Abdomen : Axial cross section


  • Intestinal tract: 2 illustrations of gross anatomy to introduce the different parts of the digestive tract.


Gastrointestinal tract: Oesophagus, Stomach, Small intestine, Large intestine

Gastrointestinal tract]


  • Stomach: anatomical images of the gastric anatomy, from the serous membrane to the gastric mucosa, with a diagram of the histology of the stomach lining.


Stomach: Greater curvature, Lesser curvature, Cardia, Fundus of stomach, Pylorus



  • Duodenum: an overall diagram of duodenal anatomy and an illustration of the duodenojejunal flexure with its duodenal recesses.


Duodenum - Anatomy: Illustrations: A. Micheau - MD

Duodenum , Anatomy: Illustrations: A. Micheau - MD


  • Jejunum: diagram of a jejunal loop with its different parietal layers


Jejunum: Serosa; Serous coat, Muscular layer; Muscular coat, Circular folds, Mucosa; Mucous membrane



  • Ileum: diagram of an ileal loop similar to the previous diagram of the jejunum, allowing to view the differences between these two parts of the small intestine (arterial vascularisation with the arteria rectae and anastomotic arches, circular folds, etc). A histological pattern individualises different histological layers of the jejunum (serosa, subserosa, muscularis, submucosa, mucosa).


Ileum: Solitary lymphoid nodules, Aggregated lymphoid nodules



  • Mesentery: general diagram of the appearance of the mesentery and its root.





  • Colon: three diagrams of the face of the colon and rectum, with or without the mesentery of the colon and taenia coli as well as a detailed illustration of the right colonic flexure.


Large intestine: Colon, Taeniae coli, Sigmoid colon,Transverse mesocolon, Sigmoid mesocolon

Large intestine


  • Cecum: illustration of the cecum and its appendix, front view with its mesenteries and its recesses, and then a diagram of an open cecum (on the body because the ileal papilla is flat and elongated).


Caecum - Appendix

Caecum , Appendix


  • Rectum: coronal section of the rectum with the main curvatures and stages of the rectum. The rectum will be illustrated in a more detailed way on the modules about the pelvic region.


Rectum - Anal canal: Coronal section

Rectum , Anal canal: Coronal section


Liver: a first diagram presents the nomenclature of parts, divisions and liver segments. The following diagram summarizes the venous, arterial and biliary systems of the liver. Illustrations of the hepatic anatomy showing the different faces of the liver (visceral, diaphragmatic...) and the hepatic pedicle. Hepatic segmentation is then detailed on two summarized recapitulative diagrams. Finally, photos and diagrams resume liver histology.


Liver : Hepatic segmentation: lobes, parts, divisions and segments

Liver : Hepatic segmentation: lobes, parts, divisions and segments


Liver - Gross anatomy

Liver : Gross anatomy


Histology - Lobules of liver: Interlobular arteries, Interlobular veins, Central veins, Interlobular bile ducts, Hepatic sinusoid

Histology : Lobules of liver


  • Gallbladder: the different parts of the bile ducts inside and outside the liver are detailed in these three diagrams.


Bile ducts: Gallbladder, Common hepatic duct, Cystic duct, Bile duct

Bile ducts


  • Pancreas: the first diagram shows the different parts of the pancreatic anatomy in anterior view, following up by: the links of the duodenum with the pancreas, the ampulla of Vater (hepatopancreatic ampulla), the pancreas in posterior view with and without retropancreatic vessels.


Pancreas - Duodenum - Gallbladder - Pancreatic duct

Pancreas : Duodenum , Gallbladder , Pancreatic duct


  • Spleen: the splenic anatomy is detailed in anterior and posterior views, as well as in an anatomical section of the spleen followed up by a diagram showing splenic histology.


Spleen: Splenic pulp, Red pulp, White pulp, Splenic hilum



  • Arteries: the initial anatomical drawings show the aorta, the venous quadrilateral and the aorto-mesenteric clamp, then the different arteries of the abdomen are detailed (celiac trunk, hepatic artery, splenic artery, superior and inferior mesenteric arteries).


Abdomen - Arteries: Coeliac trunk, Splenic artery, Hepatic artery proper, Superior mesenteric artery

Abdomen , Arteries


  • Veins: the diagrams are focused on the anatomy of the portal system, first with an overall pattern of the portal vein and its branches, then with illustrations of the venous vascularisation of the digestive organs.


Abdomen - Veins: Hepatic portal vein, Superior mesenteric vein, Inferior mesenteric vein

Abdomen : Veins


  • Lymph nodes: we reviewed the diagrams of the arteries to which the different lymph nodes in the abdomen were added as their nomenclature is based on the underlying arteries.


Visceral lymph nodes: Coeliac nodes, Superior mesenteric nodes, Ileocolic nodes, Mesocolic nodes

Visceral lymph nodes


  • Autonomic nervous system: three diagrams on the main autonomic nerve structures (sympathetic and parasympathetic) of the digestive system, including the celiac plexus, the mesenteric nerve plexus and enteric plexus.


Enteric plexus: Subserous plexus, Myenteric plexus, Submucous plexus

Enteric plexus



Labels of the anatomical structures of the digestive system

125 anatomical structures of the digestive system were labeled. The labels are grouped into subcategories, the user can choose to hide or show those labels on "Anatomical parts":

•    Aesophagus
•    Stomach
•    Small intestine: duodenum, jejunum and ileum
•    Large intestine: colon, cecum, rectum, anal canal
•    Liver: gross and microscopic anatomy, histology, hepatic segmentation
•    Biliary tract: gall bladder, principal bile duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct
•    Pancreas: external morphology, pancreatic duct, hepatopancreatic ampulla
•    Spleen: gross anatomy, histology
•    Peritoneum: parietal and visceral peritoneum, mesenteries, transverse mesocolon, mesentery
•    Recesses, pits and folds: omental bursa, paracolic fissures (parietocolic grooves), rectovesical escavation (Douglas)
•    Arteries: branches of the abdominal aorta leading to the digestive system (celiac artery, superior and inferior mesenteric arteries)
•    Veins: different tributaries of the hepatic portal system vein (splenic vein, superior and inferior mesenteric vein, hepatic portal vein)
•    Lymph nodes: celiac lymphatic ganglions, inferior and superior mesenteric veins 
•    Nerves: nerve plexus and autonomic intestinal nervous system
•    Other structures: diaphragm, genital and urinary systems.


Language and terminology for the study of the anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract

We used the Terminologia Anatomica to label all the anatomical structures. Translations available in English, French, Japanese, German, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Korean, Italian and Spanish.

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