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inguinal canal[′iŋ·gwən·əl kə′nal]
a slanting, narrow passage between the muscles of the lower part of the abdominal wall in humans and most mammals. In man the inguinal canal has two openings: the superficial inguinal ring, which is near the pubis, and the deep inguinal ring, which is covered and which lies on the inner surface of the anterior wall of the stomach. The length is 4–5 cm, and the width 1–2.5 cm. The inguinal canal is the passageway for the spermatic cord in males and for the round ligament of the uterus in females. A predisposition to herniation may result from weakness in the abdominal wall and dilation of the openings of the inguinal canal.