Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 1168
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
vagi, the former being distributed upon the back, and the latter upon the front part of the organ. A great number of branches from the celiac plexus of the sympathetic are also distributed to it. Nerve plexuses are found in the submucous coat and between the layers of the muscular coat as in the intestine. From these plexuses fibrils are distributed to the muscular tissue and the mucous membrane.
2g. The Small Intestine
(Intestinum Tenue)

The small intestine is a convoluted tube, extending from the pylorus to the colic valve, where it ends in the large intestine. It is about 7 meters long, 1 and gradually diminishes in size from its commencement to its termination. It is contained in the central and lower part of the abdominal cavity, and is surrounded above and at the sides by the large intestine; a portion of it extends below the superior aperture of the pelvis and lies in front of the rectum. It is in relation, in front, with the greater omentum and abdominal parietes, and is connected to the vertebral column by a fold of peritoneum, the mesentery. The small intestine is divisible into three portions: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum.

FIG. 1056– The duodenum and pancreas. (See enlarged image)

  The Duodenum (Fig. 1056) has received its name from being about equal in length to the breadth of twelve fingers (25 cm.). It is the shortest, the widest, and the most fixed part of the small intestine, and has no mesentery, being only partially covered by peritoneum. Its course presents a remarkable curve, somewhat of the shape of an imperfect circle, so that its termination is not far removed from its starting-point.
  In the adult the course of the duodenum is as follows: commencing at the pylorus it passes backward, upward, and to the right, beneath the quadrate lobe of the liver to the neck of the gall-bladder, varying slightly in direction according to the degree of distension of the stomach: it then takes a sharp curve and descends along the right margin of the head of the pancreas, for a variable distance, generally to the level of the upper border of the body of the fourth lumbar vertebra. It
Note 1.  Treves states that, in one hundred cases, the average length of the small intestine in the adult male was 22 feet 6 inches, and in the adult female 23 feet 4 inches: but that it varies very much, the extremes in the male being 31 feet 10 inches, and 15 feet 6 inches. He states that in the adult the length of the bowel is independent of age, height, and weight. [back]


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