Mesentery: A new organ has been discovered

  • Researchers have classified a new organ called “mesentery” in the digestive system inside human body.
  • The research has been published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
  • J Calvin Coffey is the lead researcher from the University Hospital Limerick in Ireland.
  • The world’s best-known series of medical textbooks, Gray’s Anatomy, has updated this to include the new definition.
  • With the discovery of Mesentery, now there are a total of 79 organs in the human body, divided into 13 major organ systems and seven regional groups.
  • Of those organs, five are considered vitals organs.
  • They are the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys and liver.

Key features of organ ‘Mesentery’

  • It is simply one continuous structure rather than earlier thought that it is made up of fragmented, separate structures.
  • Thus, it refutes the anatomic description that had been laid down over 100 years of anatomy.
  • Mesentery is a double fold of peritoneum – the lining of the abdominal cavity – that attaches our intestine to the wall of our abdomen, and keeps everything locked in place.

Why Mesentery classified as Organ?

  • Organs are typically classified by either their specific structure or a clear function.
  • The mesentery, Coffey argues, should be considered an organ because it holds up our intestines (a discrete role) and has a distinct structure.
  • It has a beginning and an end, and in between it kind of fans out like a Chinese fan, and is usually about two feet long.

Importance of the discovery

  • Although the structure of this new organ is clearly understood, its function is still poorly understood.
  • The reclassification opens up a whole new field of medical science that could lead to improved health outcomes.
  • Studying structure and function of newly discovered organ could be the key to better understanding and treatment of abdominal and digestive disease.

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