Transversus abdominis muscle

The transversus abdominis muscle, named according to the direction of its muscle fibers, is one of the flat muscles that form the anterior abdominal wall. It is deep to the internal oblique muscle and ends in the anterior aponeurosis, which ultimately blends with the linea alba

The transversus abdominis is the deepest of the lateral abdominal muscles (the others being the external and internal oblique muscles). It contributes mainly to maintain abdominal tone and can increase intra-abdominal pressure when it contracts. 

It attaches to the lateral two-thirds of the inguinal ligament and the associated iliac fascia, the inner lip of the anterior segment of the iliac crest, the thoracolumbar fascia between the iliac crest and the 12th rib, and the costal cartilages of ribs 7-12. It ends in the anterior aponeurosis, with the majority of its fibers blending into the linea alba. The lower fibers curve inferiorly and medially with those of the internal oblique muscle and anterior aponeurosis to insert into the pectineal line which forms the conjoint tendon.

As a flat muscle, the vascular supply of the transversus abdominis includes the posterior intercostal and subcostal arteries, superior and inferior epigastric arteries, superficial and deep circumflex arteries and posterior lumbar arteries.

It is innervated by the terminal branches of intercostal nerves T7-T12, the subcostal nerve, the iliohypogastric nerve and ilioinguinal nerves. These nerves arise from the ventral rami of the spinal nerves of T7-L1, and this is the simplified description of innervation described in anatomy textbooks. 

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
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Article information

rID: 47186
Section: Anatomy
Tag: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Transversalis muscle (abdomen)
  • Transverse abdominis
  • Transverse abdominal muscle (TVA)

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Cases and figures

  • Rectus sheath (diagram)
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