Monday, December 1, 2008

Sad pucker

I was recently going over some reviewers' comments as I check over the page proofs of the new edition of our Anatomy & Physiology textbook.

One of the comments criticized our description of the perimetrium of the uterus as being part of the parietal peritoneum. The reviewer erroneously thought that it should be the visceral peritoneum.

This is a common error, alas . . . to forget about the fact that some abdominopelvic organs are in fact retroperitoneal (outside the parietal peritoneum). Even the reviewer, who is an A&P professor, got this one wrong.

One easy way to remember which abdominopelvic organs are retroperitoneal is to use a mnemonic such as SAD PUCKER:
  • S = Suprarenal (adrenal) glands
  • A = Aorta/Inferior Vena Cava
  • D = Duodenum (second and third segments)

  • P = Pancreas
  • U = Ureters
  • C = Colon (ascending and descending only)
  • K = Kidneys
  • E = Esophagus
  • R = Rectum
Or instead, Ursula Uses Kids to Deliver All Lemon Pies except Sue’s Tasty Crust
  • Ureters
  • Urinary bladder
  • Kidneys
  • Duodenum
  • Adrenal glands
  • Large intestine
  • Pancreas
  • except (not retroperitoneal) Sigmoid and Transverse Colon
Have you visited Study Tips & Tools at the Lion Den website?

Here's a book on how your memory works, and how you can improve it . . .

[NOTE: the mnemonics given here are adapted from a Wikipedia entry]

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