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Lateral umbilical folds

Last revised by Dr Ayla Al Kabbani on 02 Aug 2021

The lateral umbilical folds are bilateral raised ridges of parietal peritoneum in the deep aspect of the anterior abdominal wall overlying the inferior epigastric vessels. The paired folds originate medial to the deep inguinal ring and end at the arcuate line on the posterior aspect of the anterior abdominal wall. The medial fossae lie between the medial and lateral umbilical folds. The lateral fossae lie laterally to the lateral umbilical folds.

The folds are 2 of the 5 umbilical folds.

Significance

Because the lateral umbilical folds overly the inferior epigastric vessels, they are used as an important reference point for inguinal hernia classification. Direct hernias occur medial to the lateral umbilical folds whereas indirect hernias occur laterally.

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