Epiploic foramen

Last revised by Travis Fahrenhorst-Jones on 19 Jun 2022

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

Gross anatomy

Boundaries
  • anterior: the free edge of the lesser omentum, known as the hepatoduodenal ligament; there are two layers and within these layers are the common bile duct, hepatic artery proper, and 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

Related pathology

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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