Author: Alexandra Sieroslawska MD•Reviewer: Dimitrios Mytilinaios MD, PhDLast reviewed: October 28, 2021Reading time: 8 minutes


The regions that the abdomen space theoretical divisions used through clinicians to help localize, identify and diagnose a patient symptoms. There are two main develops of categorization, the first which is simpler and is mapped out by dividing the abdomen into four quadrants, while the second method divides it right into nine segments.

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Either that these 2 ideas about the abdominal regions are worldwide recognized and can be offered on a everyday basis during clinical practice. It is merely up come the doctor on just how they great to current their findings.

This article will comment on both schemes and include a list of the interior organs and also other important anatomical frameworks that deserve to be uncovered within every region.

Key facts
Four an ar schemePrinciple: upright line with linea alba (median plane) crosses horizontal line through the umbilicus (transumbilical plane) -> four quadrants: right upper quadrant (RUQ), right reduced quadrant (RLQ), left top quadrant (LUQ), left lower quadrant (LLQ)Quadrants:RUQ - LUQ | |RLQ - LLQ
Nine region schemePrinciple: two vertical midclavicular lines (left and right) cross two horizontal: subcostal (through reduced edge that 10th costal cartilage) and also transtubercular (through tubercles the iliac crests) -> nine segments: right and left hypochondrium, epigastrium, right and left lumbar regions, umbilical region, right and also left inguinal regions, hypogastriumSegments:right hipochondrium - epigastrium - left hipochondriumright lumbar - umbilical - left lumbarright inguinal - hypogastrium - left inguinal
Clinical relationsGrey-Turner"s sign, Cullen"s sign

The four region scheme The nine region scheme
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The four an ar scheme

Divisions and also landmarks

The 4 anatomical areas of the abdomen are recognized as quadrants. They are separated by theoretical anatomical present that have the right to be traced ~ above the abdomen using particular anatomical landmarks. The median plane is that which follows the linea alba and extends indigenous the xiphoid procedure to the pubic symphysis and also splits the abdomen vertically in half. The transumbilical plane is a horizontal line the runs in ~ the level the the umbilicus. These 2 planes transect in ~ the umbilicus in a cross-like form and division the abdomen into 4 quarters.


best upper quadrant

The best upper quadrant (RUQ), in a craniocaudal order, contains:

the hepatic flexure of the colon the right half of the transverse colon

Right lower quadrant

The right lower quadrant (RLQ) contains:

the proximal ascending colon

Left upper quadrant

The left top quadrant (LUQ), in a craniocaudal order, contains: 

the left lobe the the liver the stomach the proximal ileum the body and also the tail the the kidnize the left kidney and also the left suprarenal gland the left fifty percent of the transverse colon the splenic flexure the the colon the superior part of the diminish colon

Left lower quadrant

The left lower quadrant (LLQ) contains:

the distal diminish colon the sigmoid colon the left ureter

depending upon the sex that the individual, both the left and also right lower quadrants save on computer either:

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The nine an ar scheme

Divisions and landmarks

contrasted to the four region scheme, this division of the abdomen may seem much more complicated. However, it can assist to additional localize clinical symptoms and arrive at an exact diagnosis more quickly. There are two vertical planes and two horizontal planes the are provided to separate the nine segments. The upright planes are recognized as the left and right midclavicular lines. They run from the midpoint in the clavicle caudally in the direction of the midpoint of the inguinal ligament.


The horizontal plane which room mentioned below in a craniocaudal order, incorporate the subcostal plane and the transtubercular plane. The subcostal plane runs horizontally through the reduced border the the tenth costal cartilage on either side. Finally, the transtubercular plane passes v the tubercles the the iliac crest and the body of the fifth lumbar vertebra.

The right and left hypochondriac regions are discovered superiorly on either next of the abdomen, if the epigastric region sits between them in a central, exceptional position. The right and left lumbar regions surround the umbilical region, i m sorry is central and has the umbilicus together its centre point. Lastly, the right and also left inguinal regions are discovered inferiorly ~ above either next of the hypogastric region, i beg your pardon is the many inferior the the main line the segments.

each of the nine regions shall currently be provided individually, to run craniocaudally from left come right:

Left hypochondriac region

The left hypochondriac an ar contains the:

stomach optimal of the left lobe the the liver left kidney spleen tail the the pancreas components of the small intestine transverse colon descending colon

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best hypochondriac region

The appropriate hypochondriac region contains the:

liver gallbladder little intestine ascending colon transverse colon right kidney

Epigastric region

The epigastric region contains the:

stomach liver spleen pancreas right and also left kidneys right and left ureters right and left suprarenal glands tiny intestine transverse colon

The position of the transverse colon can differ slightly from human being to human being due its mobile suspension in ~ the transverse mesocolon. The is, however, normally located between the epigastric and also umbilical areas of the abdomen. 

Left lumbar region

The left lumbar region contains:

a part of the little intestine a part of the descending colon the guideline of the left kidney

appropriate lumbar region

The best lumbar region contains the: 

pointer of the liver gallbladder ascending colon ideal kidney

Umbilical region

The umbilical region contains the:

stomach pancreas small intestine transverse colon medial extremities of right and also left kidneys right and left ureters cisterna chyli

Left inguinal region

The left inguinal an ar contains:

part of the little intestine the diminish colon the sigmoid colon the left ovary and also the left fallopian tube in females.

ideal inguinal region

The appropriate inguinal region contains the:

tiny intestine postposition cecum ascending colon ideal ovary and right fallopian tube in females

Hypogastric region

The hypogastric region contains:

small intestine sigmoid colon rectum urinary bladder right and left ureters uterus, the right and also left ovaries and also the fallopian tubes can be discovered in females

Now that you learned everything about the areas of the abdomen, solidify your understanding with ours quiz:

Clinical aspects

Grey-Turner’s sign is a redness or bruising that have the right to be watched on the right lumbar region ~ a duration of 24 come 48 hours, indicating a retroperitoneal hemorrhage. Its existence is significant because it have the right to be predictive of major hemorrhagic pancreatitis, ab injury or even metastatic cancer. Cullen’s sign is a discoloration the the skin about the umbilicus and points come a peritoneal hemorrhage.



Neil S. Norton, Ph.D. And also Frank H. Netter, MD, Netter’s Head and Neck Anatomy for Dentistry, 2nd Edition, Elsevier Saunders, chapter 22 development to the top Limb, Back, Thorax and Abdomen, Overview and also Topographic Anatomy, basic Information, web page 556.Frank H. Netter, MD, Atlas of person Anatomy, 5th Edition, Saunders - Elsevier, chapter Abdomen, Subchapter 24 Topographic Anatomy, Guide: ab Regions, web page 126 to 127.


Duodenum (ventral view) - Begoña RodriguezCecum (ventral view) - Begoña RodriguezLeft kidney - ventral see - Irina MünstermannSigmoid colon (ventral view) - Begoña RodriguezMidclavicular heat (ventral view) - Irina MünstermannHypochondriac region (ventral view) - Irina MünstermannEpigastric region (ventral view) - Irina MünstermannLumbar region (ventral view) - Irina MünstermannUmbilical region (ventral view) - Irina MünstermannInguinal an ar (ventral view) - Irina Münstermann

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