The human body is vastly complex, often words cannot describe how the body works the way it does, in perfect synchronicity, a system of organs working together. The number of organs was at 78, until the discovery of mesentery. Mesentery has been hiding in plain sight, from scientists since Da Vinci first identified it, however many failed to acknowledge that it was one continuous organ. Recently J Calvin Coffey, who is a researcher at University Hospital Limerick, proved that mesentery was in fact an organ. This is a change from the fragmented structure that it was thought to be, and now the importance of it has been highlighted, and now researchers will look to see what roles it plays. It has been dubbed as a portal to a new area of science, in which scientists will be able to see what roles mesentery plays in diseases. There is a possibility that mesentery could lead to changes in treatments of abdominal diseases.
The function of mesentery is currently unknown and this is where the scientists will play a key role in identifying its true purpose. As of know it is understood that mesentery keeps the intestines in a particular formation, and if it attaches to the abdominal wall in an incorrect manner then it could cause death of the intestine. Mesentery is a double fold of peritoneum (which is a large membrane found in the abdominal cavity) and it supports nearby organs. The mesentery folding attaches the small intestine and large intestine to the walls of the abdomen. When peritonitis occurs, the peritoneum membrane becomes inflamed as a result of organs rubbing against each other and no to little serum is produced. The abdominal cavity is the largest hollow part of the body found just below the diaphragm. Inside the cavity are parts of the digestive system: liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas and the adrenal glands. The cavity is lined with peritoneum and mesentery provides the foldings for support.
The discovery was first noted in The Lancet, which is a reputable medical journal. Once again discoveries have changed our understanding of the human body, and once again Leonardo Da Vinci’s intelligence shines, showing just how far ahead of his time he was, that it took 509 years for us to confirm what he already knew. With this latest discovery there are now 79 organs, and Gray’s Anatomy has been updated to accommodate this, but there is little doubt that this discovery could have big repercussions in the field of abdominal disease research.