Right supramesocolic space

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 2 Aug 2021

The right supramesocolic space is an arbitrary subdivision of the supramesocolic space, which lies between the diaphragm and the transverse colon.

Gross anatomy

The right supramesocolic space is separated from the left supramesocolic space by the falciform ligament, and can be divided into three subspaces:

Related pathology

The right supramesocolic space and its subdivisions are usually in continuity with each other and the rest of the peritoneal subspaces, but this continuity is often broken or distorted by inflammatory adhesions.   

Postoperative fluid collections from lower abdominal or pelvic surgery and abscesses from the intraperitoneal spread of pelvic infections are more common in subcompartments of the right supramesocolic space than subcompartments of the left supramesocolic space. This is due to the communication between the pelvic peritoneal space and the right supramesocolic spaces via the right paracolic gutter. Conversely, the left paracolic gutter is shallower and the phrenicocolic ligament tends to limit communication between the left paracolic gutter to the left supramesocolic space.  However, this ligament is variable in its presence, structure and location and therefore its ability to limit the spread of fluid and infection between the pelvic cavity and left supramesocolic space 1.  

Intraperitoneal seeding of pelvic malignancies, particularly ovarian cancers, can also track up the right paracolic gutter to infiltrate the right subhepatic and subphrenic spaces 2

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads