Posterior left subphrenic space

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 2 Aug 2021

The posterior left subphrenic space (also known as the perisplenic space) is a potential space surrounding the spleen.

Gross anatomy

The posterior left subphrenic space is continuous with the anterior left subphrenic space, both are subcompartments of the left supramesocolic space.

  • inferior: phrenicocolic ligament (separates it from the left paracolic gutter), splenorenal (or lienorenal) ligament
  • superior: gastrosplenic ligament
  • posterior: bare area of the spleen 1-3

The communication between the left posterior subphrenic space and left paracolic gutter is variable. This is because the ability of phrenicocolic ligament to restrict the communication of peritoneal fluid and infection between the two spaces is inconsistent between individuals due to variation in the presence, structure and location of the ligament 4.

Related pathology

The posterior left subphrenic space is a common location for fluid collections such as traumatic hemoperitoneum or abscess development following splenectomy 5.

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