What is mesentery? Why is it in news?« Back to Questions List

Mesentery could be the 79th organ in a human body. Mesentery is a continuous set of tissues that attaches the intestines to the wall of the abdomen. Anatomists were aware of it, but recent studies prove that it is eligible to be classified as an organ. 

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For a body part to be classified as an organ, it should be a continuous one performing some vital function. 

Leonardo da Vinci described mesentery as an organ. But in 1885,  studies of Frederick Treves'  presented it as a one composed of different segments. Hence the fatty tissue was not considered to be a continuous one. It did not satisfy the requirements to be classified as an organ. Recently, researchers under the leadership of J. Calvin Coffey at the University Hospital Limerick, have submitted evidence that it is a continuous set of tissues. It wraps around pancreas, intestine and colon, protects them, holds them tight and maintains their structure. There are no reported instances of any Homo sapien living without a mesentery. Thus the mesentery is proved to be  a single unit and vital part of the body which qualify it to be treated as an organ. 

In 2012, it was identified by Coffey and team that mesentery is a single structure. They published the evidence collected over four years of study in ‘ The Lancet’ medical journal. The report has captured  the attention of entire world. 

As mentioned above, mesentery is not a newly identified part of human body.  The importance is that the studies enable mesentery to regain its status as an organ. This status may lead to new branch of medical science. 

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