abdomin-, abdomino-, abdomen-

(Latin: belly, venter [the use of "stomach" is considered incorrect for this root word]; from Latin abdo-, to put away)

abdominal quadrants; left upper quadrant, left lower quadrant, right upper quadrant, right lower quadrant
Any of four topographic areas of the abdomen divided by two imaginary lines, one vertical and one horizontal, intersecting at the umbilicus (belly button) as determined from the front of the body.

The divisions are the left upper quadrant (LUQ), the left lower quadrant (LLQ), the right upper quadrant (RUQ), and the right lower quadrant (RLQ).

  • Left upper quadrant (LUQ): left lobe of liver, stomach, transverse colon, splenic flexure, pancreas, left kidney, and spleen.
  • Left lower quadrant (LLQ): small intesine, left ureter, sigmoid flexure, descending colon, bladder if distended, left spermatic duct in the male; left ovary and left tube, and uterus if enlarged, in the female.
  • Richt upper quadrant (RUQ): right lobe of the liver, gallbladder, part of transverse colon, part of pylorus, hepatic flexure, right kidney, and duodenum.
  • Right lower quadrant (RLQ): cecum, ascending colon, small intestine, appendix, bladder if distended, right ureter, right spermatic duct in the male; right ovary and right tube, and uterus if enlarged, in the female.
abdominal reflexes
Contraction of the muscles of the abdominal wall when the the overlying skin is stimulated by stroking or scratching or by tapping neighboring bony structures.

Lacking these reflexes indicates damage to the pyramidal tract or the projection neurones in the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus of the brain or two groups of nerve fibers that participate in the complex and delicate coordination of motor activity arising in the brain and passing down through the spinal cord to motor cells.

abdominal rescue
The emergency cesarean delivery of a fetus jeopardized during child labor or failed vaginal birth.

An indication for the need of surgical intervention include fetal distress (fetal hypoxia or low oxygen levels in the fetus) associated with dystocia (difficult or painful childbirth labor or delivery), arrested descent (interruption in the labor process), abruptio placentae (placenta prematurely separating from the wall of the uterus), or umbilical cord prolapse (slipping or falling out of place).

abdominal sponge
A flat sponge from 1/2 to 1 inch (1.27 to 2.54 cm) thick, 3 to 6 in. (7.62 to 15.24 cm) in diameter, used as packing to prevent closing or obstruction by intrusion of viscera, as a covering to prevent tissue injury, and as absorbents.
abdominal ultrasound test
An ultrasound test which provides accurate visualization of the abdominal aorta, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, biliary ducts, kidneys, ureters, and bladder.

This test is used to diagnose and locate cysts, tumors, calculi, and malformations; to document the progression of various diseases; and to guide the insertion of instruments during surgical procedures.

abdominal viscera
The internal organs contained or enclosed within the abdominal cavity, including the stomach, liver, intestines, spleen, pancreas, and parts of the urinary and reproductive tracts.
abdominal wall
1. The outer margins of the abdomen, extending from the osteocartilaginous thoracic cage to the pelvis.

Although its major part is muscular, the abdominal wall consists of at least seven layers: the skiln, subcutaneous fat, deep fascia; abdominal muscles, transversalis fascia, extraperitoneal fat, and the parietal peritoneum.

2. The lining of the abdomen, which consists partly of bone but mostly of muscle.

Several sets of muscles support and propel the torso or body; for example, the abdominal wall muscles help transfer force between the upper and lower body, and they also protect the delicate internal organs their most important function is to support the back.

The muscles of the torso extend in several directions and they help to maintain the posture and aid the spinal muscles when bending, twisting, and when doing other movements.

A procedure whereby a needle is introduced into the abdominal cavity for aspirating fluid (removal by suction of a fluid from a body cavity using a needle).

The procedure is used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

Pain in the abdomen or a belly ache.
Referring to or describing the abdomen.

A stomach ache has been defined as an abominable pain in the abdominal area.


"The stomach (which is in the abdominal area) is lined with thirty-five million glands that produce about three quarts (2.85 liters) of gastric juices daily. Hydrochloric acid makes up roughly five percent of these juices and, together with other acids and various enzymes, constantly works to digest food particles."

—"Stomach, Liver, and Pancreas" by Neil McAleer, The Body Almanac;
Doubleday & Company, Inc.; Garden City, New York; 1985; page 186.
A piece of exercise apparatus on which the user lies on his or her back and rocks backwards and forwards, flexing the abdominal muscles.

Also more generally, any of various different types of equipment designed to exercise the abdominal muscles.

abdominoanterior, abdomino-anterior
With the abdomen forward [denoting a position of the fetus in utero].
abdominocardiac reflex
A change in heart rate usually a slowing, resulting from mechanical stimulation of abdominal viscera (soft internal organs in the abdominal cavity).
1. Paracentesis (surgical puncture of the abdominal wall cavity for the aspiration [removal by suction] of peritoneal fluid); that is, puncturing of the abdomen with a hollow needle or trocar, usually for the purpose of withdrawing fluid.
2. Puncture of the abdomen with an instrument for withdrawal of fluid from the abdominal cavity for medical diagnosis.
abdominocyesis, abdominal pregnancy
1. An ectopic pregnancy or the development of a fertilized ovum outside the uterus, as in a Fallopian tube developing in the peritoneal cavity, usually secondary to an early rupture of a tubal pregnancy.
2. A condition in which the embryo or fetus continues to grow in the abdominal cavity after its expulsion from the tube or other site of its primary development.