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Epiploic foramen

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The epiploic foramen (also called the foramen of Winslow) is a passage between the greater (general peritoneal space) and lesser sac (omental bursa) allowing communication between these two spaces.

Gross anatomy

Boundaries

It has the following borders:

  • anterior: the free border of the lesser omentum, known as the hepatoduodenal ligament; there are two layers and within these layers are the common bile duct, hepatic artery, and hepatic portal vein
  • posterior: the peritoneum covering the inferior vena cava
  • superior: the peritoneum covering the caudate lobe of the liver
  • inferior: the peritoneum covering the commencement of the duodenum and the hepatic artery, the latter passing forward below the foramen before ascending between the two layers of the lesser omentum
  • left lateral: gastrosplenic ligament and lienorenal ligament

Related pathology


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Abdominal and pelvic anatomy

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