Obstetrics & Gynecology

Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2008 - Volume 111 - Issue 3 > Endopelvic Fascia in Women: Shape and Relation to Parietal P...
Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181649e5c
Original Research

Endopelvic Fascia in Women: Shape and Relation to Parietal Pelvic Structures

Otcenasek, Michal1,3; Baca, Vaclav2,3; Krofta, Ladislav1; Feyereisl, Jaroslav1

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The endopelvic fascia is a confluent suspensory apparatus of the female pelvic organs. The aim of the study was to construct a three-dimensional model of the endopelvic fascia, defining its shape and its connections to the surrounding parietal structures.

METHODS: We created a three-dimensional multiple-source computer model to simultaneously visualize and analyze all the structures within the female pelvic floor. This model integrates data from magnetic resonance imaging of 15 nulliparas under age 30 with no symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. The model also includes data from direct observation in the dissection laboratory and in surgical rooms, together with the relevant scientific literature.

RESULTS: The endopelvic fascia has the shape of a semifrontally oriented septum, which surrounds the vagina and part of the uterine cervix and divides the pelvic floor into the anterior and posterior compartments. This confluent septum has specific connections to the pubic bone, anterior perineal membrane, perineal body, and superior fascia of the levator ani muscle. Additionally, the uterosacral part of the septum has three subdivisions— the “vascular part,” the “neural part,” and the true uterosacral ligament. Each of these subdivisions has a different physical link to the parietal structures. Three-dimensional illustrations and schemes were created to facilitate the understanding of the anatomy of these complex structures.

CONCLUSION: Connecting descriptions of the geometry of the organs visible by magnetic resonance imaging with descriptions of their individual connections to the endopelvic fascia gave us unique information about the three-dimensional representation of the anatomy of the female lesser pelvis. The endopelvic fascia divides the lesser pelvis in a manner that is similar to the way the urorectal septum divides the embryonic cloaca.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III

© 2008 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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