Citation, DOI & article data
The viscera (singular: viscus) refers to all the internal organs within the major cavities of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis. Therefore it does not include organs of the CNS, head and neck or musculoskeletal compartments nor does it encompass non-internal organs (e.g. the skin) 1.
Splanchnology (TA: systemata visceralia) 5 is the study of all the internal organs of the chest, abdominal and pelvic cavities. However the adjectival form splanchnic is usually restricted to the internal organs of the abdominal cavity only, hence derived terms such as the splanchnic vessels (see below).
The splanchnic vasculature refers to the vessels providing arterial supply and venous drainage for those internal organs of the coeliac, superior mesenteric and inferior mesenteric artery territories, namely stomach, small bowel, large bowel, liver, pancreas and spleen only 1,4,6.
The abdominal viscera are themselves commonly subdivided into solid and hollow viscera.
History and etymology
The word 'viscera' is the Latin term for 'internal organs' 1,3.
The term 'splanchnic' is derived from the Greek word σπλαγχνον (splanchnon) meaning 'the innards' 1,2.
- 1. William Alexander Newman Dorland. Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. (2018) ISBN: 9781416023647
- 2. James Morwood, John Taylor. Pocket Oxford Classical Greek Dictionary. (2002) ISBN: 9780198605126
- 3. John C. Traupman. The Bantam New College Latin & English Dictionary. (2018) ISBN: 9780553590128
- 4. Parks DA, Jacobson ED. Physiology of the splanchnic circulation. (1985) Archives of internal medicine. 145 (7): 1278-81. Pubmed
- 5. FIPAT. Terminologia Anatomica. 2nd Ed. FIPAT.library.dal.ca. Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology, 2019. https://fipat.library.dal.ca/TA2/
- 6. Harper D. and Chandler B. Splanchnic circulation. (2016) BJA Education, 16 (2): 66–71. doi:10.1093/bjaceaccp/mkv017