Articles

Articles are a collaborative effort to provide a single canonical page on all topics relevant to the practice of radiology. As such, articles are written and edited by countless contributing members over a period of time. A global group of dedicated editors oversee accuracy, consulting with expert advisers, and constantly reviewing additions.

2,602 results found
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Unfused sternal body segments

Fusion of sternal body segments is usually complete by 25 years of age. But non-fusion of sternal body segments can be seen in older age group.
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Unicornuate uterus

A unicornuate uterus or unicornis unicollis is a type of Müllerian duct anomaly (class II) characterised by a banana-shaped uterus usually draining into a single Fallopian tube. Epidemiology This type can account for ~10% (range 6-13%) of uterine anomalies and infertility is seen in ~12.5% (ra...
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Upper limb anatomy

Upper limb anatomy encompasses the anatomy of the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. This anatomy section promotes the use of the Terminologia Anatomica, the global standard for correct gross anatomical nomenclature. 
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Upper subscapular nerve

The upper subscapular nerve, also known as the short or superior subscapular nerve, arises from the posterior cord of the brachial plexus and supplies the subscapularis muscle. Gross anatomy Origin The upper subscapular nerve branches from the posterior cord of the brachial plexus with fibres...
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Upper T sign

The upper T sign is one of the features useful in identifying the central sulcus of the cerebral cortex on cross-sectional imaging. It relies on identifying the superior frontal sulcus which intersects the precentral sulcus in a "T" junction, thus defining the precentral gyrus. The central sulc...
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Urachus

The urachus is the fibrous vestigial remnant of the fetal allantois. The lumen of the urachus usually obliterates after birth and it becomes the median umbilical ligament, a midline linear fibrous fold of parietal peritoneum, extending from the apex of the bladder to the umbilicus. If the lume...
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Ureter

The ureter is a paired fibromuscular tube that conveys urine from the kidneys in the abdomen to the bladder in the pelvis.  Gross anatomy The ureter is 25-30 cm long and has three parts: abdominal ureter: from the renal pelvis to the pelvic brim pelvic ureter: from the pelvic brim to the bla...
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Ureteral duplication

Ureteral duplication is the most common congenital abnormality associated with the urinary tract, and occurs in ~1% of the population. Gross anatomy Duplication can occur unilaterally or bilaterally, and may be partial or complete: partially duplicated ureters fuse into a single ureter proxim...
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Ureteric bud

The ureteric bud (also known as the metanephrogenic diverticulum) is a protrusion of the mesonephric duct that appears during the embryological development of urogenital organs. It will eventually form the urinary collecting system (i.e. collecting tubes, calyces, renal pelvis, ureter) of the ki...
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Urethra

The urethra is the terminal segment of the genitourinary system. Because of vastly different anatomy between the sexes, male and female urethras are discussed separately: female urethra male urethra
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Urinary bladder

The urinary bladder (more commonly just called the bladder) is a distal part of the urinary tract and is an extraperitoneal structure located in the true pelvis. Its primary function is as a reservoir for urine.  Gross anatomy The bladder has a triangular shape with a posterior base, an anteri...
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Urinary system

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra. With the exception of the urethra, this is equitable in both males and females.  It spans the abdomen and pelvis, from the upper abdomen to the extreme pelvis, being inextricably linked with the genital system. The urinary...
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Urogenital triangle

The urogenital triangle forms the anterior half of the diamond-shaped perineum. The triangle's corners are defined by the pubis symphysis anteriorly and the ischial tuberosities anterolaterally. The anterolateral borders are the ischiopubic rami and the posterior border is the transverse perinea...
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U sign (central sulcus)

The U sign denotes the characteristic "U" shaped appearance of the subcentral gyrus which surrounds the inferolateral end of the central sulcus and abuts the lateral (Sylvian) fissure. It has been found, at least in one study, to be the most reliable anatomical feature to identify the central su...
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Uterine agenesis

Uterine agenesis is the extreme of Mullerian duct anomalies (Class I) where there is a complete absence of uterine tissue above the vagina.  Epidemiology The uterine agenesis-hypoplasia spectrum accounts for ~10-15% of all Müllerian duct anomalies. Clinical presentation Clinical presentation...
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Uterine artery

The uterine artery is seen bilaterally and is a branch of the anterior division of the internal iliac artery. Gross anatomy Course It runs medially in the pelvis, within the base of the broad ligament, to the outer surface of the uterus. From lateral to medial it has a descending, transverse ...
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Uterine duplication anomalies

Uterine duplication anomalies are a group of Müllerian duct anomalies where fusion of the Müllerian duct associated structures fail to some degree: uterus didelphys: class III bicornuate uterus: class IV (second commonest duplication anomaly) septate uterus: class V (commonest duplication ano...
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Uterine tube

The uterine tube, also known as the Fallopian tube or less commonly the oviduct, is a paired hollow tube that bridges between each ovary and the uterus and functions to convey the mature ovum from the former to the latter. If conception occurs, it normally does so within the tube. It can be affe...
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Uterus

The uterus is a hollow, thick-walled, muscular organ of the female reproductive tract that lies in the lesser pelvis.   Gross anatomy The uterus has an inverted pear shape. In the adult, it measures about 7.5 cm in length, 5 cm wide at its upper part, and nearly 2.5 cm in thickness. It weighs ...
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Utricle (ear)

The utricle is a small membranous sac, paired with the saccule, within the vestibule of the inner ear. It has an important role in orientation and balance, particularly in horizontal tilt. Gross anatomy The vestibule is located within the bony labyrinth (temporal bone) of the inner ear 2 (infe...
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Uvea

The uvea (also called the uveal layer or vascular tunic) is the middle of the three layers that make up the eye. It is the pigmented layer and its main function is of nutrition and gas exchange. It sits between the retina (innermost layer) and sclera.  It is traditionally split up into three an...
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Vagina

The vagina is a midline fibromuscular tubular organ positioned in the female perineum extending superiorly from the vulva, to the cervix and uterus in the pelvis.  Gross anatomy The vagina is 8-10 cm in length, extending posterosuperior from the vestibule through the urogenital diaphragm to th...
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Vaginal artery

The vaginal artery is a branch of the anterior division of the internal iliac artery, and should not to be mistaken with the vaginal branch of the uterine artery. It is often considered to be a homolog of the inferior vesical artery, which is present only in males. Summary origin: anterior div...
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Vagus nerve

The vagus nerve is the tenth (X) cranial nerve and provides the bulk of the parasympathetic input to the gastrointestinal system and to the heart. It is a complex mixed sensory, motor and parasympathetic nerve.  Gross anatomy Central connections The vagus nerve arises as multiple rootlets at ...
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Valvulae conniventes

The valvulae conniventes, also known as Kerckring folds, plicae circulares or just small bowel folds, are the mucosal folds of the small intestine, starting from the second part of the duodenum, they are large and thick at the jejunum and considerably decrease in size distally in the ileum to di...
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Variant anatomy of the aortic arch

Variant anatomy of the aortic arch occurs when there is failure of normal aortic development. It results in a number of heterogenous anomalies of the aorta and its branch vessels. Gross anatomy Normally, the aorta ascends in the superior mediastinum to the level of the sternal notch before arc...
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Variant hepatic arterial anatomy

Variation in hepatic arterial anatomy is seen in 40-45% of people. Classic branching of the common hepatic artery from the coeliac artery, and the proper hepatic artery into right and left hepatic arteries to supply the entire liver, is seen in 55-60% of the population.  Terminology An accesso...
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Variation in placental morphology

There can be several variations in placental morphology. These include: single lobed discoid placenta (single disc): most common scenario bilobed placenta: two near equal size lobes succenturiate lobe(s): one of more smaller accessory lobes circumvallate placenta: rolled placental edges with...
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Vascular anatomical variants

Vascular anatomical variants are common. Aorta variants Thoracic aorta Ascending aorta Aortic arch Descending aorta Abdominal SVC & IVC - variants Intracranial arteries - variants
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Vastus intermedius muscle

The vastus intermedius muscle is one of the 4 quadriceps muscles in the anterior compartment of the thigh. The others are the vastus medialis, the vests laterals, and the rectus femoris. Summary origin: upper two thirds of the anterior and lateral surfaces of the femur insertion quadriceps t...
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Vastus lateralis muscle

The vastus lateralis is largest of the four quadriceps muscles in the anterior compartment of the thigh. The others are the rectus femoris, the vastus intermedius, and the vastus medialis. Summary origin femur lateral part of intertrochanteric line margin of greater trochanter lateral mar...
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Vastus medialis muscle

The vastus medialis muscle is one of the four quadriceps muscles in the anterior compartment of the thigh. The others are the rectus femoris, the vastus intermedius, and the vastus lateralis. Summary origin femur medial part of intertrochanteric line pectineal line medial lip of the linea ...
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Vein of Galen

The vein of Galen, also known as the great cerebral vein or great vein of Galen, is a short trunk formed by the union of the two internal cerebral veins and basal veins of Rosenthal. It lies in the quadrigeminal cistern. It curves backward and upward around the posterior border of the splenium o...
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Vein of Labbé

The vein of Labbé, also known as inferior anastomotic vein, is part of the superficial venous system of the brain.  The vein of Labbé is the largest channel that crosses the temporal lobe between the Sylvian fissure and the transverse sinus and connects the superficial middle cerebral vein to t...
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Vein of Marshall

The vein of Marshall, oblique vein of Marshall or the oblique vein of the left atrium is a small vein that descends on and drains the posterior wall of the left atrium. It drains directly into the coronary sinus at the same end as the great cardiac vein, marking the origin of the sinus. It repr...
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Veins of Sappey

Veins of Sappey are small veins around the falciform ligament that drain the venous blood from the anterior part of the abdominal wall directly into the liver. This flow dilutes the portal perfusion at these sites, causing hepatic pseudolesions. Gross anatomy The superior vein of Sappey drains...
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Velum interpositum

The velum interpositum is a small membrane containing a potential space just above and anterior to the pineal gland which can become enlarged to form a cavum velum interpositum.  Gross anatomy The velum interpositum is formed by an invagination of pia mater forming a triangular membrane the ap...
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Vena caval foramen

The vena caval foramen is one of the three major apertures in the diaphragm. It is the highest of the three and situated at the level of T8-9. It is quadrilateral and placed at the junction of the right and middle leaflets of the central tendon. It transmits several structures between the thora...
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Venae cordis minimae

The venae cordis minimae (smallest cardiac veins or thebesian veins) are a small group of valveless myocardial coronary veins within the walls of each of the 4 cardiac chambers that drain venous blood directly into each of the respective chambers. They are most frequent in the right atrium and t...
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Venous drainage of the thoracic wall

The venous drainage of the thoracic wall drains deoxygenated venous blood from the peripheries of the thoracic cage back into systemic circulation. Gross anatomy Anterior thoracic wall Anterior intercostal veins The anterior intercostal veins originate from the intercostal space just inferio...
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Ventral horn

The ventral horn of the spinal cord is one of the grey longitudinal columns found within the spinal cord. It contains the cell bodies of the lower motor neurones which have axons leaving via the ventral spinal roots on their way to innervate muscle fibres. Gross anatomy On transverse section o...
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Ventricular system

The ventricular system in the brain is composed of CSF-filled ventricles and their connecting foraminae. CSF is produced by ependymal cells which line the ventricles. They are continuous with the central canal. Ventricles contain around 1/5 of normal adult CSF volume, which is around 20-25 ml. ...
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Ventriculus terminalis

The ventriculus terminalis or terminal ventricle of Krause, also known as the 5th ventricle, is an ependymal-lined fusiform dilatation of the terminal central canal of the spinal cord, positioned at the transition from the tip of the conus medullaris to the origin of the filum terminale.  It re...
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Vermian lobulation

Evaluation of vermian lobulation is essential in assessment of the vermian maturity. MRI is a useful tool in assessment of the fetal posterior fossa. Normal Vermian lobulation by weeks 1: By 21 weeks - Prepyramidal fissure can be seen between the tuber and pyramis. 21 to 22 weeks - Preculmina...
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Vermis

Gross anatomy The vermis (pl: vermes) of the cerebellum is an unpaired medial structure which separates the cerebellar hemispheres. The neocerebellar posterior lobes join in the midline behind the primary fissure to separate the vermis into superior and inferior portions. The vermis can be furt...
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Vertebra

The vertebra (plural: vertebrae) is the fundamental segmental unit of the vertebral column (also know as the spine). Gross anatomy Vertebrae, apart from those that are atypical, have a similar basic structure which can be described as an anterior vertebral body and a posterior neural (or verte...
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Vertebral artery

The vertebral arteries (VA) are paired arteries, each arising from the respective subclavian artery and ascending in the neck to supply the posterior fossa and occipital lobes, as well as provide segmental vertebral and spinal column blood supply. Summary origin: branches off the 1st part of t...
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Vertebral levels (anatomical landmarks)

Many vertebral levels are associated with key anatomical landmarks. Below is a summary of vertebral levels and associated internal or surface anatomy. Vertebral Level: C3 hyoid bone C4 bifurcation of common carotid artery thyroid cartilage  C6 cricoid cartilage trachea begins (end of la...
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Vertebral venous plexus

The vertebral venous plexus is a highly anastomotic network of valveless veins running along the entire length of the vertebral column from the foramen magnum to the sacral hiatus. Gross anatomy The vertebral venous plexus is comprised of three interconnected divisions: internal vertebral ven...
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Vertex

The vertex is the midline bony landmark at the most superior part of the calvaria in the standard anatomical position, near the midpoint of the sagittal suture (i.e. between the bregma and lambda). It is one of the skull landmarks, craniometric points for radiological or anthropological skull m...
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Vertical fissure line in the lung

The vertical fissure line commences in or near the costodiaphragmatic recess and heads superomedially towards the hilum and terminates before or at the horizontal fissure. More commonly occurs on the right and may indicate partial volume loss of the lower lobe 1.
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Vertical muscle of the tongue

The vertical muscle of the tongue is one of the 4 intrinsic muscles of the tongue which alters the shape of the tongue mass, being entirely confined to the tongue without an attachment outside the tongue (like the extrinsic muscles of the tongue). Gross anatomy The muscles fibres attach proxim...
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Verumontanum

The verumontanum or seminal colliculus is the rounded eminence of the urethral crest within the posterior wall of the mid prostatic urethra. The prostatic utricle opens into it in the midline and the two ejaculatory ducts open just distal to the utricle. On either side of it lie the prostatic si...
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Vesico-urachal diverticulum

Vesico-urachal diverticulum is one of the congenital urachal remnant abnormalities. Gross anatomy It is the proximal equivalent of a urachal umbilical sinus, representing a result of the failure of the urachus to close at the urinary bladder, forming an out-pouching of variable length from the...
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Vesicoureteric junction

The vesicoureteric junction (VUJ) is the most distal portion of a ureter, at the point where it connects to the urinary bladder.  Terminology VUJ is synonymous with "ureterovesicular junction" (UVJ). It is nearly synonymous with "ureteral orifice" (UO), although depending on the context, the V...
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Vestibular aqueduct

The vestibular aqueduct is a structure of the inner ear being part of the osseous labyrinth. It contains the endolymphatic duct and sac. It normally has a diameter of ~1.5 mm (similar to the posterior semicircular canal) and runs from the vestibule in a transverse direction to the long axis of t...
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Vestibule (disambiguation)

A vestibule is an anatomical term and refers to a small cavity at the proximal end of a tube. vestibule (aorta) vestibule (ear) vestibule (larynx) vestibule (mouth) vestibule (nose) vestibule (oesophagus) vestibule (vulva) History and etymology Vestibule derives ultimately from the Lati...
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Vestibule (ear)

The vestibule is an approximately 4 mm central chamber of the bony labyrinth. It is dominated by depressions housing the: utricle (elliptical recess) saccule (spherical recess) basal end of the cochlear duct (cochlear recess) The cribrose areas have perforations through which the nerve bundl...
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Vestibule of the vulva

The vestibule of the vulva (vestibule of the vagina in some texts 2) is the area between the labia minora, and posterior to the glans of the clitoris. It marks the boundary between the vagina and the vulva. The urethra, vagina and the greater vestibular glands open out into the vestibule.
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Vestibulocochlear nerve

The vestibulocochlear nerve is the eighth cranial nerve and has two roles: innervation to the cochlea for hearing innervation to the vestibule for acceleration and balance senses Gross anatomy It emerges between the pons and the medulla, lateral to the facial nerve and nervus intermedius, pa...
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Vickers ligament

Vickers ligament is a ligamentous structure connecting the lunate bone and TFCC to the distal radius and is seen in the vast majority of patients with Madelung deformity 1. Release of this thickened ligament may help in improving symptoms associated with Madelung deformity 2.
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Vidian artery

There are two arteries passing through Vidian canal from the pterygopalatine fossa to the petrous portion of the ICA. One is a branch of the internal maxillary artery (itself a branch of the ECA) and the other is from the C2 segment of the ICA. It therefore forms one of the ICA to ECA anastamoses.
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Vidian nerve

Vidian nerve, also known as the nerve of the pterygoid canal or nerve of the Vidian canal, is so named because of the canal in which is travels: the Vidian canal. It is formed by the confluence of two nerves: greater superfical petrosal nerve (from the geniculate ganglion of the facial nerve) ...
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Visceral space

The visceral space is one of the infrahyoid deep spaces of the head and neck.  Gross anatomy The visceral space extends from the hyoid bone to the superior mediastinum (level of aortic arch / T4), and is surrounded by the middle layers of the deep cervical fascia.  Contents thyroid gland pa...
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Visual system

The visual system transmits visual information from the retina within the eyes to the primary visual cortex of the occipital lobe as well as the pretectal nuclei and superior colliculi of the midbrain. Gross anatomy Below the visual pathway is described from distal to proximal in a single hemi...
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Vitreous body

The vitreous body or vitreous humour is a transparent, avascular gel that occupies ~80% of the globe and helps to maintain the position of the retina and the shape of the globe.  Gross anatomy Situated within the globe between the lens and the optic cup, its anterior surface is indented by th...
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Vomer

The vomer is one of the facial bones and forms the postero-inferior part of the bony nasal septum. Variant anatomy Occasionally the sphenoid sinus may pneumatise the vomer 2.
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Vulva

The vulva (or pudendum) is the collective term given to the female external genitalia. The vulva consists of the: mons pubis labia majora labia minora clitoris vestibular bulbs vestibule of the vulva vaginal opening hymen Bartholin glands Radiographic features Individual component st...
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Waldeyer's ring

Waldeyer's ring is a ring of lymphoid tissue located in the nasopharynx and oropharynx at the entrance to the aerodigestive tract. Gross anatomy The structures composing this ring are: palatine tonsils (also called the faucial tonsils) adenoid tonsils (nasopharyngeal tonsils) the lateral ba...
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Wandering spleen

Wandering spleen is a rare condition in which the spleen migrates from its usual anatomical position, commonly to the lower abdomen or pelvis. Epidemiology Wandering spleen is rare, with a reported incidence of <0.5%. Diagnosis is most commonly made between ages 20 and 40 years and is more co...
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Ward triangle

Ward triangle refers to a radiolucent area between principle compressive, secondary compressive and primary tensile trabeculae in the neck of femur. It should be differentiated from Babcock triangle. History and etymology Named for F O Ward after his original description of the region in 1838.
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Weigert-Meyer law

The Weigert-Meyer law describes the relationship of the upper and lower renal moieties in duplicated collecting systems to their drainage inferiorly. Weigert-Meyer law With duplex kidney and complete ureteral duplication, the upper renal and lower renal moiety is drained by separate ureters, e...
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Wernicke's area

Wernicke's area (Brodmann area 22) is an area of the posterior temporal lobe in the dominant hemisphere concerned with the receptive components of speech. Gross anatomy Wernicke's area is located in the superior temporal gyrus, posterior to the posterior commissure line. Relations It is boun...
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Wharton jelly

Wharton jelly refers to the gelatinous substance within the umbilical cord. Gross anatomy Wharton jelly is derived from extra-embryonic mesoderm and is largely made up of mucopolysaccharides (hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate) while containing smaller amounts of fibroblasts and macropha...
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White matter

The white matter is the substance of the brain and spinal cord that contains the fibre tracts of neuronal axons in the central nervous system. The term is due to the paler colour of the lipid-rich myelin that encase the axons in the tracts compared to the grey matter, which contains predominantl...
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White matter tracts

White matter tracts in the brain, also known as white matter fibres, are classified into three categories: Projection tracts tracts connecting the cortex with other area in the CNS, e.g. deep nuclei, brainstem, cerebellum or spine may be efferent (motor) or afferent tracts (sensory) white ma...
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White matter tracts of the spinal cord

The spinal cord has numerous tracts of white matter that ascend and descend in the peripheral substance of the cord. They can be divided by their location and function: anterolateral columns anterior corticospinal tract medial longitudinal fasiculus spinothalamic tracts lateral spinothalami...
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Wolffian duct

The Wolffian duct (also known as the mesonephric duct) is one of the paired embryogenic tubules that drain the primitive kidney (mesonephros) to the cloaca. In both the male and the female the Wolffian duct develops into the trigone of the urinary bladder. Development Female In the female, in...
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Wormian bone

Wormian bones (a.k.a. intrasutural bones) is the name given to the additional small bones sometimes found between the cranial sutures of the bones of the skull vault, most commonly in relation to the lambdoid suture. Some reserve the term Wormian bones to just the intrasutural bones proximate to...
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Xiphisternum

The xiphisternum (also known as the xiphoid process or simply the xiphoid) is the smallest of the three parts of the sternum (manubrium, body or gladiolus and xiphisternum). It arises from the inferior and posterior margin of the sternal body and projects inferiorly. It is a small cartilaginous ...
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Xiphoid shape variations

There is considerable anatomic variation in the shape of the xiphoid of the sternum: xiphoid ending is classified as single, double, or triple. xiphoid size varies (e.g. elongated process) xiphoid morphology (e.g. ventral or dorsal deviation, hook-like, reverse S-shape). Clinical presentatio...
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Zona orbicularis

The zona orbicularis are circular fibres of the hip joint capsule and form a collar around the femoral neck. Though partly blended with the pubofemoral and ischiofemoral ligaments, these fibres are not directly attached to bone. 
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Zuckerkandl tubercle

Zuckerkandl tubercle is a normal variant of the thyroid and may be mistaken for a thyroid nodule, mass or lymph node. It is a projection of normal thyroid tissue from the posterior aspect of the lateral lobes of the thyroid gland.  The tubercle is also an important surgical landmark due to its ...
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Zygoma

The zygoma (also known as zygomatic bone or malar bone) is an important facial bone which forms the prominence of the cheek. It is roughly quadrangular in shape. Gross anatomy Zygoma has three surfaces, five borders, and two processes. Surfaces anterolateral surface is convex, pierced at its...
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Zygomatic arch

The zygomatic arch is formed by the union of the temporal process of the zygomatic bone and the zygomatic process of the temporal bone at the zygomaticotemporal suture.  Related pathology Le Fort type 3 fracture zygomaticomaxillary complex fracture
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Zygomatic nerve

The zygomatic nerve is a main branch of the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve. It should not be confused with the zygomatic branch of the facial nerve. Gross anatomy The zygomatic nerve divides off the maxillary division just after emerging from the foramen rotundum to enter the ptery...
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Zygomaticofacial foramen

The zygomaticofacial foramen is a small foramen in the mid lateral surface of the zygomatic bone that transmits the zygomaticofacial nerve (a branch of the zygomatic nerve from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve) and zygomaticofacial vessels.
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Zygomaticofacial nerve

The zygomaticofacial nerve is the smaller of the two branches of the zygomatic nerve, from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve. It is sometimes referred to as the malar branch of the zygomatic nerve. It leaves the inferolateral aspect of the extraconal space of the orbit through the z...
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Zygomaticomaxillary suture

The zygomaticomaxillary suture is between the zygomatic process of the maxilla and the maxillary process of the zygomatic bone. They are often involved in zygomaticomaxillary complex (ZMC) fractures.
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Zygomaticotemporal foramen

The zygomaticotemporal foramen is a small foramen in the anteromediall surface of the zygomatic bone that transmits the zygomaticotemporal nerve (a branch of the zygomatic nerve from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve) and zygomaticotemporal vessels.
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Zygomaticotemporal nerve

The zygomaticotemporal nerve is the larger of the two branches of the zygomatic nerve, from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve. It is primarily sensory but also relays parasympathetic fibres to the lacrimal nerve from the pterygopalatine ganglion which reach the lacrimal gland. It le...

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