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Arch Surg. 1938;36(2):190-224. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01190200022002.
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ANATOMY AND HISTOLOGY  The peritoneum is the largest serous membrane in the body. Hertzler1 measured the peritoneal and the cutaneous surfaces of twenty cadavers and found that the average of the measurements for the former was 3,268 square inches and for the latter, 3,436 square inches. Thus the opinion usually held that the surface area of the peritoneum is about equivalent to the cutaneous surface area of the body is approximately correct.A part of the peritoneum is applied to the abdominal wall, the remainder being reflected over the viscera contained in the peritoneal cavity. In the male the peritoneum is a closed sac, but in the female the free ends of the fallopian tubes open directly into the peritoneal cavity. The surface of the peritoneum is covered with flattened cells which are variously called epithelium, endothelium or mesothelium. According to Jordan,2 these cells are mesothelium. They are


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