Updated: 8/13/2021

Retroperitoneal Structures

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Overview
retroperitoneal structures
  • Labeled structures
    1. duodenum (2nd, 3rd, 4th parts)
    2. descending colon
    3. ascending colon
    4. kidneys
      • left kidney sits at spinal cord level T12-L3, right kidney slightly inferior
      • renal arteries take off aorta at L1
    5. pancreas (minus tail) 
    6. aorta
    7. inferior vena cava (IVC)
      • formed at L4-L5 where common iliac veins come together  
  • Not shown in diagram
    • suprarenal glands aka adrenal glands
    • ureters
    • esophagus (lower 2/3)
    • rectum (upper 2/3)
  • "SAD PUCKER" mnemonic of retroperitoneal structures
    • Suprarenal glands (aka adrenal glands)
    • Aorta and IVC
    • Duodenum
    • Pancreas
    • Ureters
    • Colon (descending, ascending)
    • Kidneys
    • Esophagus
    • Rectum

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Questions (2)

(M1.GI.17.4752) A 45-year-old male is brought to the emergency department by emergency medical services after sustaining a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He is unresponsive. His temperature is 99.0°F (37.2°C), blood pressure is 95/58 mmHg, pulse is 115/min, and respirations are 20/min. Physical examination reveals an entry wound in the left abdominal quadrant just inferior to the left lateral costal border. Abdominal CT suggests that the bullet is lodged in a retroperitoneal structure. Which of the following structures has the bullet most likely penetrated?

QID: 108731
1

Descending colon

72%

(120/166)

2

Transverse colon

14%

(24/166)

3

Ascending colon

2%

(4/166)

4

Superior duodenum

4%

(6/166)

5

Sigmoid colon

6%

(10/166)

M 1 C

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