The Terminologia Anatomica separes the fascia of abdomen in different structures, but this division remains unclear and widely discussed by different authors :
- Parietal abdominal fascia (endoabdominal fascia) may be the fascia that covers the abdominal cavity, or a generic term including extraperitoneal and visceral fascia.
- For some authors, endoabdominal fascia comprises: 1) transversalis fascia and 2) investing abdominal (deep, intermediate and superficial). Transversalis fascia is the inner epimysium of transversus abdominis muscle; no separate deep investing fascia exists.
In the Gray's, is another common description of fascia of abdomen:
The superficial fascia of the abdomen consists, over the greater part of the abdominal wall, of a single layer containing a variable amount of fat; but near the groin it is easily divisible into two layers, between which are found the superficial vessels and nerves and the superficial inguinal lymph glands.
- The superficial layer (fascia of Camper) is thick, areolar in texture, and contains in its meshes a varying quantity of adipose tissue. Below, it passes over the inguinal ligament, and is continuous with the superficial fascia of the thigh. In the male, Camper's fascia is continued over the penis and outer surface of the spermatic cord to the scrotum, where it helps to form the dartos. As it passes to the scrotum it changes its characteristics, becoming thin, destitute of adipose tissue, and of a pale reddish color, and in the scrotum it acquires some involuntary muscular fibers. From the scrotum it may be traced backward into continuity with the superficial fascia of the perineum. In the female, Camper's fascia is continued from the abdomen into the labia majora.
- The deep layer (fascia of Scarpa) is thinner and more membranous in character than the superficial, and contains a considerable quantity of yellow elastic fibers. It is loosely connected by areolar tissue to the aponeurosis of the Obliquus externus abdominis, but in the middle line it is more intimately adherent to the linea alba and to the symphysis pubis, and is prolonged on to the dorsum of the penis, forming the fundiform ligament; above, it is continuous with the superficial fascia over the rest of the trunk; below and laterally, it blends with the fascia lata of the thigh a little below the inguinal ligament; medially and below, it is continued over the penis and spermatic cord to the scrotum, where it helps to form the dartos. From the scrotum it may be traced backward into continuity with the deep layer of the superficial fascia of the perineum (fascia of Colles). In the female, it is continued into the labia majora and thence to the fascia of Colles.
The transversalis fascia is a thin aponeurotic membrane which lies between the inner surface of the Transversus and the extraperitoneal fat. It forms part of the general layer of fascia lining the abdominal parietes, and is directly continuous with the iliac and pelvic fasciæ. In the inguinal region, the transversalis fascia is thick and dense in structure and is joined by fibers from the aponeurosis of the Transversus, but it becomes thin as it ascends to the diaphragm, and blends with the fascia covering the under surface of this muscle. Behind, it is lost in the fat which covers the posterior surfaces of the kidneys. Below, it has the following attachments: posteriorly, to the whole length of the iliac crest, between the attachments of the Transversus and Iliacus; between the anterior superior iliac spine and the femoral vessels it is connected to the posterior margin of the inguinal ligament, and is there continuous with the iliac fascia. Medial to the femoral vessels it is thin and attached to the pubis and pectineal line, behind the inguinal aponeurotic falx, with which it is united; it descends in front of the femoral vessels to form the anterior wall of the femoral sheath. Beneath the inguinal ligament it is strengthened by a band of fibrous tissue, which is only loosely connected to the ligament, and is specialized as the deep crural arch. The spermatic cord in the male and the round ligament of the uterus in the female pass through the transversalis fascia at a spot called the abdominal inguinal ring. This opening is not visible externally, since the transversalis fascia is prolonged on these structures as the infundibuliform fascia.
Between the inner surface of the general layer of the fascia which lines the interior of the abdominal and pelvic cavities, and the peritoneum, there is a considerable amount of connective tissue, termed the extraperitoneal or subperitoneal connective tissue.
- The parietal portion lines the cavity in varying quantities in different situations. It is especially abundant on the posterior wall of the abdomen, and particularly around the kidneys, where it contains much fat. On the anterior wall of the abdomen, except in the public region, and on the lateral wall above the iliac crest, it is scanty, and here the transversalis fascia is more closely connected with the peritoneum. There is a considerable amount of extraperitoneal connective tissue in the pelvis.
- The visceral portion follows the course of the branches of the abdominal aorta between the layers of the mesenterics and other folds of peritoneum which connect the various viscera to the abdominal wall. The two portions are directly continuous with each other.