Linea Alba

Original Editor - Lucinda hampton

Top Contributors - Lucinda hampton and Kim Jackson  

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The Linea Alba is a fibrous band running vertically the entire length of the center of the anterior abdominal wall, receiving the attachments of the oblique and transverse abdominal muscles.[1]

Image 1: In muscular individuals its presence can be seen on the skin, forming the depression between the left and right halves of a “six pack”.[2]

Origin Tip of xiphoid process
Insertion Anterior fibres: pubic symphysis

Posterior fibres: pubic crests on both sides

Structure Formed by aponeuroses of external oblique, internal oblique and transversus abdominis
Function Attachment site for:

- Fundiform ligament of penis

- Pyramidalis, internal oblique, external oblique and transversus abdominis muscles

- Parietal peritoneum via extraperitoneal connective tissue


Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]


Paraumbilical hernia can occur through the linea alba. They are usually related to diastasis recti[4]

The transverse abdominal muscle attaches to the linea alba. The linea alba tends to lose its strength during pregnancy. Strengthening the transverse abdominal muscle after the baby is born may be a good way to restore integrity to the linea alba[5]. See Core Strengthening

As the linea alba consists of mostly connective tissue, and does not contain any primary nerves or blood vessels, a median incision through the linea alba is a common surgical approach (laparotomy incision).[2]

In pregnancy, as the baby and belly grow and stretch, the linea alba begins to darken and is known as linea nigra (Latin for ‘black line’), actually more brown in color. Linea nigra usually runs from the pubic bone up to your belly button, or higher. Sometimes it continues towards the ribs. During pregnancy, because of increased levels of estrogen, the body produces extra melanin which is responsible for the appearance of the linea nigra[6].

Image 2: The linea alba (Latin for white line) is a single midline fibrous line in the anterior abdominal wall formed by the median fusion of the layers of the rectus sheath medial to the bilateral rectus abdominis muscles.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The free dictionary Linea Alba Available: (accessed 19.12.2021)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jade Health Linea alba Available: 19.12.2021)
  3. ken Hub Linea Alba Available: (accessed 19.12.2021)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Radiopedia Linea Alba Available: 19.12.2021)
  5. very well health Transverse Abdominalis Available: (accessed 19.12.2021)
  6. Belly belly Linea Nigra | When Does It Appear And Go Away? Available: (accessed 19.12.2021)