why peritonium is called serous membrane?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Morad Muskir 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #959 Reply

    peritonium, pericardium, pleura, and some other organ coverings are called serous membrane. But the term serous actually means watery fluid.


    So why this membrane was named that way?


    I tried to search the meaning of serous and got these references –

    1. pertaining to serum; thin and watery, like serum. – The Free Dictionary

    2. of, relating to, or resembling serum; especially : of thin watery constitution a serous exudate – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    3. Relating to, containing, or producing serum or a substance having a watery consistency. – Medilexicon


    All of them indicating the watery fluid thing…why?

  • #970 Reply

    Robin Williams

    The word “serous” means watery fluid, (relate it to serum)…

    Peritoneum, Pericardium, Pleura all secrete small quantities of fluid substance. These membranes are double layered and the fluid is secreated in between the two layers. In a normal person the fluid acts as a lubricant. It gets reabsorbed regularly at the same rate of production and so the amount of fluid remains constant in the cavity.


    As the fluid is hypotonic than plasma and more resembles to the lymph (produced by filtration of the blood in the membrane and resorbed in to lymphatics) it may be called a serous fluid and so the membrane is called a serous membrane.

  • #1167 Reply

    Morad Muskir

    I am just adding a note – serous membrane is also called “serosa”; just like a mucous membrane is also called “mucosa”.

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