Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 1177
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
the lymphatics from the mucous membrane, and empty themselves in the same manner as these into the origins of the lacteal vessels at the attached border of the gut.
  The nerves of the small intestines are derived from the plexuses of sympathetic nerves around the superior mesenteric artery. From this source they run to the myenteric plexus (Auerbach’s plexus) (Fig. 1071) of nerves and ganglia situated between the circular and longitudinal muscular fibers from which the nervous branches are distributed to the muscular coats of the intestine. From this a secondary plexus, the plexus of the submucosa (Meissner’s plexus) (Fig. 1072) is derived, and is formed by branches which have perforated the circular muscular fibers. This plexus lies in the submucous coat of the intestine; it also contains ganglia from which nerve fibers pass to the muscularis mucosæ and to the mucous membrane. The nerve bundles of the submucous plexus are finer than those of the myenteric plexus.
2h. The Large Intestine
(Intestinum Crassum)

The large intestine extends from the end of the ileum to the anus. It is about 1.5 meters long, being one-fifth of the whole extent of the intestinal canal. Its caliber is largest at its commencement at the cecum, and gradually diminishes as far as the rectum, where there is a dilatation of considerable size just above the anal canal. It differs from the small intestine in its greater caliber, its more fixed position, its sacculated form, and in possessing certain appendages to its external coat, the appendices epiploicæ. Further, its longitudinal muscular fibers do not form a continuous layer around the gut, but are arranged in three longitudinal bands or tæniæ. The large intestine, in its course, describes an arch which surrounds the convolutions of the small intestine. It commences in the right iliac region, in a dilated part, the cecum. It ascends through the right lumbar and hypochondriac regions to the under surface of the liver; it here takes a bend, the right colic flexure, to the left and passes transversely across the abdomen on the confines of the epigastric and umbilical regions, to the left hypochondriac region; it then bends again, the left colic flexure, and descends through the left lumbar and iliac regions to the pelvis, where it forms a bend called the sigmoid flexure; from this it is continued along the posterior wall of the pelvis to the anus. The large intestine is divided into the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal.
  The Cecum (intestinum cæcum) (Fig. 1073), the commencement of the large intestine, is the large blind pouch situated below the colic valve. Its blind end is directed downward, and its open end upward, communicating directly with the colon, of which this blind pouch appears to be the beginning or head, and hence the old name of caput cæcum coli was applied to it. Its size is variously estimated by different authors, but on an average it may be said to be 6.25 cm. in length and 7.5 in breadth. It is situated in the right iliac fossa, above the lateral half of the inguinal ligament: it rests on the Iliacus and Psoas major, and usually lies in contact with the anterior abdominal wall, but the greater omentum and, if the cecum be empty, some coils of small intestine may lie in front of it. As a rule, it is entirely enveloped by peritoneum, but in a certain number of cases (5 per cent., Berry) the peritoneal covering is not complete, so that the upper part of the posterior surface is uncovered and connected to the iliac fascia by connective tissue. The cecum lies quite free in the abdominal cavity and enjoys a considerable amount of movement, so that it may become herniated down the right inguinal canal, and has occasionally been found in an inguinal hernia on the left side. The cecum varies in shape, but, according to Treves, in man it may be classified under one of four types. In early fetal life it is short, conical, and broad at the base, with its apex turned upward and medialward toward the ileocolic junction. It then resembles the cecum of some monkeys, e. g., mangabey monkey. As the fetus grows the cecum increases in length more than in breadth, so that it forms a longer tube than in the primitive form and without the broad base, but with the same inclination of the apex toward the ileocolic junction. This form is seen in other monkeys, e. g., the spider monkey. As development goes on, the lower part of the tube ceases to grow and the upper


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