What is the peritoneum?

The peritoneum is the largest and most complexly arranged serous membrane in the body. It is closed in men and open to the ends of the fallopian tubes in women. The parietal layer lines the abdominal wall, whereas the visceral layer lines the visceral organs. It contains a potential space, the peritoneal space, which normally contains a small amount of fluid. Its major function is to provide for unimpeded activity and mobility of contained viscera, although it also has absorptive and immune functions.


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