What Does Ventral Mean in Anatomy?
What does ventral mean in anatomy?
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The human body consists of a variety of organs, which perform different functions to enable the human body to function to its optimal capacity. The different organs of the human body belong to different systems of the human body that have a particular activity.
Different types of systems in a human body range from digestive system that helps in digestion of the food consumed by the human or person, the respiratory system which helps the human body to breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, the nervous system that is responsible for the transmission of the sensory messages from the brain to other parts of the body, reproductive system that helps in the reproduction process of a human.
The human body has two sides, the front side, and the backside. The anatomical terms for these sides are ventral and dorsal. Ventral is the front portion of a human body, while dorsal is the back portion of the human body. The systems mentioned above are situated in either of these sides.
Ventral Body Cavity
The ventral body cavity is the front portion of a human body that consists of many vital organs that help in the proper functioning of the human body. In other words, the ventral body cavity is the body cavity that is in the anterior part of the human body. Anterior means nearer to the front or the front of the body.
Just like how the body is divided into the ventral body cavity and dorsal body cavity, the ventral body cavity is further divided into two parts.
The upper portion of the ventral cavity is called the thoracic cavity, and the lower portion is called the abdominopelvic cavity. The abdominopelvic cavity is further classified into two parts called as abdominal cavity and pelvic cavity. Here, we will give you a brief on these parts.
Different Parts of the Ventral Body Cavity
Now that we know that the ventral body cavity has two parts, thoracic cavity, and abdominopelvic cavity, let’s look at a brief overview of the organs that are part of the thoracic cavity and abdominopelvic cavity.
The thoracic cavity is the second largest body cavity or hollow space in the entirety of the human body. The thoracic cavity is the upper portion of the ventral body cavity. The thoracic cavity is also called the chest cavity. The upper portion and the lower portion of the ventral body cavity are separated by a small membrane.
The thoracic cavity is an enclosure that is formed by the ribs, the vertebral column and the sternum which is also called the breast bone.
The thoracic cavity is separated from the abdominopelvic cavity by the muscular and membranous part called the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the body part that balloons up and shrinks every time a person breathes in and breathes out.
Let’s see the different organs that are in the thoracic region and their importance and specific functions.
The first and foremost part of the human body that is in the thoracic cavity is the lung. The lungs are a vital part of the human body and the respiratory system. They help in the process of respiration or breathing. One of the most vital functions of the lungs is the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the breathing process.
The oxygen from the air that is breathed in is transfused in the blood and the carbon dioxide created due to the metabolism process is emitted out. This is the vital function of the lungs. The lung has other ancillary body parts like the trachea, bronchus, and bronchioles.
The other vital organ that is in the thoracic cavity region is the heart. The heart is one of the most vital organs that help in the functioning of the different parts of the body. The brain is the organ that acts as the information generator of the body while the heart is the fuel distributor.
Here, the information refers to sensory messages and the fuel refers to blood. The heart pumps the oxygenated blood to the different parts of the body and also brings back the deoxygenated blood from different parts of the body for oxygenation.
This process of transferring oxygenated and deoxygenated blood is done by the heart with ancillary body parts like arteries and veins.
Arteries are the blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygenated blood from the heart to different parts of the body and different organs, while the veins are blood vessels that are responsible for the carrying of deoxygenated blood from different parts of the body to the heart.
The heart is enclosed by a membrane that is fibrous in nature. The fibrous membrane is called the pericardium. This fibrous membrane is a membrane that gets blended with the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the heart.
The other organs that form part of the thoracic cavity are rib cage, vertebral column, and sternum. The rib cage, as the name suggests, is a cage that acts as a protection for the organs that it encloses. The main functions of the rib cage are protection, support, and respiration.
The rib cage protects the heart and the lungs with its cage-like structure, and it also helps in supporting the muscles. The function of the vertebral column is to protect the spinal cord from any damage or injury. The sternum is a bone that is made up of three parts, the manubrium, the gladiolus (body) and the xiphoid process.
The abdominopelvic cavity is the lower portion of the ventral body cavity. The abdominopelvic cavity is further divided into two parts namely, abdominal cavity and pelvic cavity.
The abdominopelvic cavity is the largest hollow cavity in the human body and thus has lots of organs inside it. Let’s see more about the different organs that are part of the abdominal cavity and the pelvic cavity.
The Abdominal Cavity and the Organs in it
The abdominal cavity encloses organs like stomach, pancreas, liver, kidneys, spleen, gallbladder, small intestine, large intestine, and adrenal glands. Now let’s get to know in brief the different functions of the organs mentioned above.
The stomach is the vital organ of the digestive system. The stomach is an organ that helps the most in digestion. The stomach has a muscle tissue that lines the inner walls.
This helps in the contraction of the stomach. During this contraction, the stomach churns the food that helps in easier digestion. The stomach also excretes acids and enzymes that help in the process of digestion of foods.
The pancreas is a digestive organ that has both endocrine and exocrine functions. During the endocrine process, the pancreas releases the juices that it created into the bloodstream. During the exocrine process, the pancreas releases the juices to ducts.
The enzymes or juices produced by the pancreas get seeped into the small intestine and in there, these juices help in breaking down food that is digested by the stomach previously.
The liver is the next major organ in the abdominal cavity and the main function of the liver is filtering the blood that comes from the digestive tract and then transmitting it to different parts of the body.
The kidneys, which are part of the abdominal cavity, are yet another organ system that you should know of. The vital function of the kidneys is regulating and filtration of mineral in blood, maintaining a proper fluid balance and also eliminating toxic substances from food and medications.
The small intestine is another organ that is in the abdominal cavity and they are responsible for 90% of the absorption of food in the digestion process.
The large intestine has more than one function. Some of the major roles performed by this organ are the recovery of water and electrolytes, formation of fecal matter & storage of the same and fermentation of the undigested food that has passed through other digestive organs with the help of bacteria. The other organs like spleen, gallbladder and adrenal glands have very minor functions.
The pelvic cavity has organs like reproductive organs, urinary bladder, pelvic colon, and rectum. The function of the reproductive organs depends upon the gender of the person. However, the important function of the reproductive organs is reproduction.
The urinary bladder acts as a plumbing system that helps in draining urine from kidneys and then releasing the same during urination.
The pelvic colon’s major function is to reabsorb what is left after the process of digestion in the large intestine and then eliminating the waste. The rectum is the last part of the digestion process and also has similar processes to that of a pelvic colon.
In the medical field, the abdominopelvic cavity is divided into four quadrants namely the left upper quadrant consisting of a small part of the liver, left kidney, stomach spleen, pancreas and the left half of the traverse colon.
The right upper quadrant consisting of the rest of the liver, right kidney, lower stomach, right half of traverse colon and gallbladder.
The left lower quadrant which consists of the left side of the small intestine. The left ureter and ovary and the right lower quadrant consist of the ascending colon, the right side of the small intestine, right ureter and ovary.
Next time, when you hear your doctor talking about your ventral system, you are sure to understand what he means!
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