Sometime in early 2017 scientists discovered an important organ making it the 79th inside the human body.
Called the mesentery, it is a double fold of peritoneum – the lining of the abdominal cavity – that holds our intestine to the wall of our abdomen.
Accordingly, what is considered an organ now has always been inside the human body performing important functions that affect systems throughout the body, but was ignored throughout the centuries thinking it was just a few fragmented structures in the digestive system.
What it is in fact is a continuous organ that plays an important role in the intestinal, vascular, endocrine, cardiovascular and immunological systems, but more research is needed to determine the extent of those roles.
Among its functions, it carries blood and lymphatic fluid between the intestine and the rest of the body. It also maintains the position of the intestine so that it’s connected with the abdominal wall without being in direct contact.
Very interesting discovery, indeed, even to a known medical person, but what makes it even more fascinating to me is that I have known about this word already when I was running a meat processing plant where we butchered our own hogs and large animals.
The foregoing, however, is not the subject of this piece.
The new human organ discovery I am referring to in the title is called Interstitium, which according to scientists had previously gone unnoticed despite being one of the largest organs in the human body.
It was reported that Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center medics Dr David Carr-Locke and Dr Petros Benias came across the interstitium while investigating a patient’s bile duct, searching for signs of cancer.
The researchers noticed cavities that did not match any previously known human anatomy, and approached New York University pathologist Dr Neil Theise to ask for his expertise.
The researchers realized traditional methods for examining body tissues had missed the interstitium because the “fixing” method for assembling medical microscope slides involves draining away fluid – therefore destroying the organ’s structure.
Instead of their true identity as bodywide, fluid-filled shock absorbers, the squashed cells had been overlooked and considered a simple layer of connective tissue.
Having arrived at this conclusion, the researchers realized this structure was found not only in the bile duct, but surrounding many crucial internal organs.
“This fixation artefact of collapse has made a fluid-filled tissue type throughout the body appear solid in biopsy slides for decades, and our results correct for this to expand the anatomy of most tissues,” said Dr Theise.
How about that for the latest human organ discovery!
I would suppose this makes it the 80th important organ of the human body.