- 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.