Musculature of the Anterior Abdominal Wall

The anterolateral abdomen consists of the external and internal abdominal oblique, transverse and rectus ab-dominis, pyramidalis, as well as the cremasteric muscles. Positive Carnett's sign, which refers to increased tenderness associated with contraction of the abdomi nal muscles, usually indicates that the cause of the pain is in the anterolateral abdominal wall and not due to intestinal dysfunction.

The muscles of the anterolateral abdomen maintain intra-abdominal pressure and the position of the viscera, by exerting compressive and twisting force. They facilitate certain physiologic functions such as parturition, vomiting, defecation, urination and coughing. Contraction of these muscles also promotes expiration by depressing and compressing the lower thorax.

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