À propos de ce cours
In this anatomy course you will explore the organs involved in our food digestion and discover the common causes of abdominal and pelvic pain. The latest graphics and animations will help you to find new insights and understanding of this part of the body, that has been the focus of anatomical research for centuries and presently arouses renewed scientific interest. You will explore the 3D anatomy of the organs from a basic level, providing thorough anatomical understanding, to its advanced application in surgical procedures. This course will challenge you to discover and help you to understand the anatomy of the abdomen and pelvis in all its aspects, ranging from its embryological underpinnings, via digital microscopy to gross topography and its clinical applications. The course is unique in that it continuously connects basic anatomical knowledge from the lab with its medical applications and current diagnostic techniques. You’ll get the chance to discuss anatomical and clinical problems with peers and experts in forum discussions and you will receive guidance in exploring the wealth of anatomical information that has been gathered over the centuries. Follow us on an exciting journey through the abdomen and pelvis where you digest your food but also where new life starts!

Cours en ligne à 100 %

Commencez dès maintenant et apprenez aux horaires qui vous conviennent.

Approx. 32 heures pour terminer

Recommandé : 7 weeks of study, 4-6 hours/week
Comment Dots


Sous-titres : English, Russian

Cours en ligne à 100 %

Commencez dès maintenant et apprenez aux horaires qui vous conviennent.

Approx. 32 heures pour terminer

Recommandé : 7 weeks of study, 4-6 hours/week
Comment Dots


Sous-titres : English, Russian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


1 hour to complete


2 videos (Total 6 min), 7 readings
Video2 videos
Welcome and introduction4m
Reading7 readings
Meet the instructors & the team10m
Welcome to Leiden University!5m
Complete our short survey10m
Graphic content warning5m
Tips for studying online5m
Being successful in an international virtual learning environment10m
Behaving in an academic way5m
4 hours to complete

Mapping the abdomen and pelvis

Welcome to the first week of the course. Have you ever wondered what lies inside your abdomen? Do you know where the spleen or appendix is situated? Would you like to know how the physician looks at it and get the basics of a physical examination of the abdomen? Do you want to understand how all these structures can be seen on scans or X-rays? During this week you will get a better understanding of these things. We also lay the foundation for the following weeks of the course, like basic things to know about vascularization, the nervous system, embryology, and the wonderful membrane holding all these structures together: the peritoneum....
9 videos (Total 58 min), 4 readings, 6 quizzes
Video9 videos
Follow the food - A tour along the intestines8m
Anatomy on the table - 'Follow the food': A tour along the intestines8m
What do you see if you open the abdomen7m
Anatomy on the table - What do you see if you open the abdomen9m
Human Anatomy 101 - What you need to know0m
Working with the viewers10m
A tour of the abdomen and pelvis in the viewers9m
Summary of module ‘Mapping the abdomen’1m
Reading4 readings
Getting the names right10m
Links to some 101 readers10m
Location of cross-sectional viewers1m
'Reading' cross-sections10m
Quiz6 practice exercises
Follow the food12m
'What lies here doctor?'14m
What you need to know28m
Working with the viewers10m
Diving into the cross-sections14m
Test your knowledge20m


6 hours to complete

Trip into the gut

After the first introduction of the abdomen with all its organs, this week we will focus at some microscopy and the first stages of gut development in the embryo. The gut starts as a simple straight tube which differentiates further into a internalized tract with specialized sections, each with its own function. You will learn how the esophagus transports your food, while its lower sphincter prevents food from returning - even if you're upside down! Then you will focus on how the stomach drenches all food in an extremely acid pool, attacking ingested bacteria and starting the digestion. That same acid would also damage the duodenum, so protective action is required. You will follow the digestion further down the tract, with its extensive folds and specialized cells and end up with more and more solid bowel contents when water is extracted in the colon. In order to demonstrate some functions further, we also have to dive into the world of microscopy. Join us on this trip into the gut with all its ingenious structural specializations along the way!...
10 videos (Total 34 min), 9 readings, 4 quizzes
Video10 videos
Four layer model4m
Peristalsis and muscle layer orientation: in-depth3m
Esophagus histology at a glance3m
Stomach histology in a nutshell2m
GI Tract histology: Some practical pointers0m
A slice of the gut at a glance5m
Introduction embryology and what happened before...1m
Folding of the embryo6m
Reading9 readings
Histology 101: Some basics & links5m
GI Tract histology: Short summary10m
CASK GI Tract microscopy: Interactive tutorial5m
Embryology 101: Holding or folding10m
Anatomy on the table - Lower oesophagus30m
Anatomy on the table - Stomach30m
Anatomy on the table - The small intestines30m
Anatomy on the table - The large intestines30m
Anatomy on the table - The rectum and anus30m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Basic embryology10m
Anatomy on the table40m
Integration with the clinic - macroscopy6m
Test your knowledge20m


3 hours to complete

The gut and its 'suppliers and purchasers'

We discussed some microscopy before and the embryonic origin of the initial gut tube and how it differentiates into specialized sections for digestion. We will now focus on the question why the bowels are not arranged symmetrically left and right, like in the rest of our body, but are closely encircling and crossing over each other. With a unique 3D animation you will learn about the rotation of the gut during development. This key concept will help you to understand the anatomical relationships of the gut with its suppliers and purchasers. The gut cannot do it alone; it needs additional organs which supply digestive chemicals such as enzymes and bile and organs that process the absorbed food further. Both the gut and these organs also need a blood supply. You will learn where their blood vessels are situated. Also, the less prominent, but very important 'sewage' system, the lymphatics, will be dealt with. In the gut area, the lymphatics are specialized in transporting fats that are absorbed from the food! Lymphatic vessels also keep an eye on pathological invaders. Unfortunately they may also spread tumor cells. In short, this week's module is for everyone who is interested in the collaboration between the abdominal organs and the gut....
10 videos (Total 24 min), 7 readings, 5 quizzes
Video10 videos
Histology: Some practical pointers0m
A slice of pancreas at a glance4m
Liver histology at a glance4m
Gut rotation in the embryo6m
Exercise embryology - Movie I (no audio)0m
Exercise embryology - Movie II (no audio)0m
Exercise embryology - Movie III (no audio)0m
Reading7 readings
CASK microscopy blood vessels: In-depth interactive tutorial5m
Liver histology in a nutshell20m
Exercise embryology - Reading20m
Vascular system10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Virtual sections to practise with and gallbladder quiz2m
Exercise embryology - Quiz6m
Integration with the clinic: A few cases26m
Test your knowledge20m


3 hours to complete

Knowing your peritoneal relationships

You have already learned that the bowels are not arranged symmetrically left and right. The rotation processes of the gut and its suppliers have important consequences for the peritoneal coverings of the gut and the abdominal wall. It determines why some structures lie easily accessible in the abdomen and others are more hidden away. In this week you will get a grip on difficult concepts as 'intraperitoneal' and 'retroperitoneal'. It is also a starter week about abdominal surgery. You will also learn a secret: The best way to mobilize the abdominal and pelvic organs is to separate what got adhered when the patient was just an embryo! Please feel free to dive into these embryonic matters and enjoy all the twists and turns!...
13 videos (Total 64 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes
Video13 videos
Why bother about the peritoneum4m
What makes understanding the peritoneum so difficult4m
The relation of the peritoneum to the gut6m
Locations of the intestines in relation to the peritoneum7m
Anatomy on the table - The three locations of organs in relation to the peritoneum4m
Peritoneal terminology: Introduction1m
Peritoneal development1m
Peritoneal development, step 0, model, Introduction8m
Peritoneal development, step 1, model, Rotation of stomach, duodenum, pancreas3m
Peritoneal development, step 2, model, Rotation of the bowels8m
Peritoneal development, step 3, model. Development of the greater omentum4m
Anatomy on the table - Peritoneal structures and relations – an overview6m
Reading1 readings
Reader Peritoneal terminology30m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Locations of the intestines in relation to the peritoneum12m
Exercise: Peritoneal terminology22m
Case: “I’m worrying about my stool”20m
Test your knowledge20m


5 hours to complete

Protecting the internal organs

The abdominal body wall and the pelvis are the topics of this week. What happens if you push hard to pass a stool, or in reverse, how do you prevent unwantedly passing a stool when you sneeze or cough hard? It may not seem the most attractive area of the body, but the rectum and anus hold many intricacies and even nowadays new things are discovered! Weak areas in the body wall are a frequent cause of problems, for instance they can lead to inguinal hernias. You will learn about their complicated anatomy. And finally, we will dive deep in the pelvis and learn about its hidden gems: the internal genitals....
19 videos (Total 90 min), 6 readings, 8 quizzes
Video19 videos
Introduction of the abdominal wall2m
General principles of the body wall6m
From body wall to abdominal wall1m
Structures of the abdominal wall9m
Anatomy on the table - Demonstration of the superficial body wall4m
Anatomy on the table - Demonstration on the deep body wall6m
The hidden importance of the pelvic floor1m
Urine and bowel continence5m
Gems of the pelvis1m
Overview female pelvis6m
The extrauterine pregnancy5m
How to use the OAH viewer1m
Laparoscopy: normal pelvic organs (no audio)4m
Laparoscopy: normal pelvic organs with explanation (no audio)5m
Laparoscopy: Adnex extirpation 1 (no audio)8m
Laparoscopy: Adnex extirpation 1 with explanation (no audio)8m
Laparoscopy: Adnex extirpation 2 (no audio)4m
Laparoscopy: Adnex extirpation 2 with explanation (no audio)4m
Reading6 readings
Doctor, why do I have an oblique scar?30m
CASK E-learning: The inguinal canal and hernias5m
OAH Viewer - The 3D pelvis; user instructions5m
OAH viewer – Start with the exercise5m
OAH evaluation / survey5m
Laparoscopy - Start with the excercise10m
Quiz8 practice exercises
Test your knowledge up till now12m
Excercise The body wall in function: The muscles contract16m
The body wall in function: Pregnancy8m
Why do I have an oblique scar, doctor?2m
Structures of the pelvic floor10m
OAH viewer10m
Test your knowledge20m


4 hours to complete


The course comes to an end with this last topic: Pain in my belly! Probably all of us have experienced abdominal pains and have witnessed its many different forms. Sometimes it can just be a slight discomfort, or it can come in waves of agony. The aches can develop gradually over several days, or strike suddenly as severe abdominal pain. In many cases the patient cannot easily locate the pain. Even shoulder pain can be caused by something going on in the abdomen! Abdominal pain is one of the most frequent reasons to seek medical attention. However, diagnosing the cause of the pain can be very difficult. Many different diseases may cause abdominal pain. Many of those do not require immediate treatment, yet others are life-threatening. The challenge is to correctly identify those dangerous cases that require prompt surgical intervention. You will learn the anatomical basis of pain and how to apply this knowledge in the diagnostic process. We will wrap up with an overview of several abdominal diseases that might all present themselves with pain....
11 videos (Total 41 min), 5 readings, 6 quizzes
Video11 videos
Organisation of the nervous system6m
Anatomy on the table - Innervation of the viscera: Thorax5m
Anatomy on the table - Innervation of the viscera: Abdomen4m
Visceral stimuli3m
Types of abdominal pain1m
Visceral pain4m
Referred pain4m
From theory to practice1m
Evaluating abdominal pain4m
Examining the abdomen4m
Reading5 readings
Visceral innervation in depth30m
The abdominal aorta aneurysm30m
The brain of the gut10m
The referred area10m
Reader Pain without a cause (in-depth)10m
Quiz6 practice exercises
Anatomic basics of pain10m
Visceral pain8m
Exercise referred pain2m
Migrating pain: From visceral to parietal8m
The theory of practise: wrapping things up6m
Test your knowledge20m


1 hour to complete

Concluding the MOOC

1 reading, 1 quiz
Reading1 readings
Complete our short survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Final quiz of the MOOC0m
Direction Signs


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Top Reviews

By BAOct 7th 2017

A very useful and visual course with a quality presentation of the material. special thanks Paul Gobé for clarity and Marco De Ruiter for a comprehensive approach to explanations.

By RMAug 13th 2017

I loved this course. I've been teaching Anatomy to physical therapist students for two years and this course helped me a lot to improve my teaching. Thank you for your hard work!



Marco De Ruiter, PhD

Professor of Clinical and Experimental Anatomy

Paul Gobée, MD

Assistent professor of Anatomy

Beerend P. Hierck, PHD.

Associate professor of developmental biology

Daniël Jansma, MSc

E-Learning developer

Bas Boekestijn, MD

Trainee Radiology

About Universiteit Leiden

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in February 1575, as a gift from William of Orange to the citizens of Leiden after they had withstood a long siege by the Spanish. Our motto is: Praesidium Libertatis — Bastion of Liberty....

About Leiden University Medical Center

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