The abdomen, when looking from in front, is divided into nine regions by imaginary planes (two vertical and two horizontal) forming abdominal surface anatomy. The nine regions are of clinical importance when examining and describing pathologies related to the abdomen. The horizontal planes are o...
The anatomy curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of articles that represent the core anatomy knowledge for radiologists and imaging specialists.
Head and neck anatomy
Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
The broad ligament(s) are the lateral folds of the parietal peritoneum which reflect over the upper genital tract.
The broad ligament extends from the lateral aspect of the uterus to the lateral pelvic wall and can be divided into three main components - the mesosalpinx, mesovari...
The canal of Nuck is an abnormal patent pouch of parietal peritoneum extending anteriorly from the round ligament of the uterus into the labia majora through the inguinal ring into the inguinal canal. Incomplete obliteration of this canal is known as a patent processus vaginalis and can result i...
Cervical plicae palmatae are normal folds seen on the anterior and posterior walls of the cervical canal. They are often described as longitudinal ridges or oblique elevation.
Sometimes they are identified on MRI, and one must make sure not to misinterpret this finding as abnormal. Studies repo...
The cervix or uterine cervix is the lower constricted segment of the uterus providing the passage between the uterus proper and the vagina.
The cervix is somewhat conical in shape, with its truncated apex directed posteriorly and inferiorly. The inferior aspect of the cervix pro...
There are many classification systems for congenital utero-vaginal anomalies. These include:
Buttram and Gibbons classification 2
American Fertility Society (AFS) classification
Modified Rock and Adam - AFS classification
Modified Rock and Adam - AFS classification
This classification divid...
The corpus albicans is a fibrous scar that results from the involution of the corpus luteum if fertilisation does not occur. When seen on ultrasound, it is a small, lobulated echogenic intra-ovarian lesion.
History and etymology
It is Latin for "whitening body", after the white appearance of ...
The corpus luteum is a temporary endocrine structure involved in ovulation and early pregnancy.
During ovulation, the primary follicle forms the secondary follicle and subsequently the mature vesicular follicle.
At ovulation the follicle ruptures expelling the ovum into the fallopian tube. The...
The deep perineal pouch is an anatomic space above the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle of the perineum, anterior to the transverse line between the ischial tuberosities.
The deep perineal pouch is above (deep to) the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle.
A dominant ovarian follicle refers to the follicle that enlarges to release an ovum during a menstural cycle. Usually approximately 10 Graafian follicles begin to mature where one becomes a dominant follicle and the rest become atretic ovarian follicles. After release of the ovum the remainder o...
The female reproductive system (or tract) comprises of the vagina, uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries.
It can be imaged using almost the entire range of modalities but ultrasound and MRI are most useful.
The term fornix (plural: fornices) is used for anatomical structures in multiple organ systems that all share an arch-like morphology:
History and etymology
Fornix is Latin for...
The fornices are superior recesses of the vagina formed by the protrusion of the cervix into the vaginal vault. There is a large posterior fornix and a smaller anterior fornix with two small lateral fornices.
History and etymology
Fornix is Latin for 'arch'.
The gonadal arteries are the paired primary vascular supply to the ovaries in the female and the testes in the male. As the anatomy of the gonadal arteries differs substantially between the sexes, they are covered separately:
The levator ani, also known as the muscular pelvic diaphragm, is the musculotendinous sheet that forms the majority of the pelvic floor, supports the pelvic viscera, and aids in urinary and faecal evacuation as well as maintaining continence.
The levator ani has three main compon...
The Müllerian ducts (or paramesonephric ducts) are paired ducts of mesodermal origin in the embryo. They run laterally down the side of the urogenital ridge and terminate at the mullerian eminence in the primitive urogenital sinus.
In the female, they will develop to form the fallopian tubes, u...
The ovarian artery is a paired structure and is the main gonadal artery in females.
The ovarian artery arises anterolaterally from the aorta just inferior to the renal arteries and superior to the inferior mesenteric artery.
Descends caudally in the retroperitone...
An ovarian follicle (also known as a Graafian follicle in its mature state) is the basic unit of female reproductive biology and is composed of roughly spherical aggregations of cells. It contains a single oocyte.
An ovarian follicle can be initiated to grow and develop, culminating in ovulati...
The parametrium is a band of fibrous tissue that separates the supravaginal portion of the cervix from the bladder. It extends on to its sides and laterally between the layers of the broad ligaments.
The uterine artery and ovarian ligament are located in the parametrium.
The parametrium is imp...
The term pelvis can refer to either the bony pelvis or the pelvic cavity.
The bony pelvis is formed by the sacrum and coccyx and a pair of hip bones ("ossa coxae"), which are part of the appendicular skeleton. Its primary function is the transmission of forces from the axial skelet...
The perineum is a diamond shaped region below the pelvic diaphragm and is divided by an imaginary line drawn between the ischial tuberosities into anteriorly the urogenital triangle and posteriorly the anal triangle.
The perineum is bounded by the pubis anteriorly, the ischial tu...
A persistent right umbilical vein (PRUV) is an uncommon vascular anomaly which is often detected in utero.
The estimated prevalence is at ~2 per 1000 births 1-2.
In the normal situation, the right umbilical vein begins to obliterate in the ~4th week of gestation and di...
A retroverted uterus is a normal variation of female pelvic anatomy in which the body of the uterus is tilted backwards (usually leans forward, i.e. anteverted) on itself to match the isthmus of the neck and lower uterine segment. There are variable grades of uterine retroversion.
The superficial perineal pouch is an anatomic space below the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle of the perineum.
The superficial perineal pouch is below the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle, anterior to the transverse line between the ischial tuberosities.
Transverse vaginal (transvaginal) septum (TVS) is a type of rare congenital utero-vaginal anomaly (class II under the Rock and Adam classification).
It is rare with a frequency of 1 in 70,000 females.
In the case of a complete septum, patients commonly pres...
A unicornuate uterus or unicornis unicollis is a type of Mullerian duct anomaly (class II) that is the second most commonly associated with miscarriages.
This type can account for ~10% (range 6-13%) of uterine anomalies and infertility is seen in ~12.5% (range 5-20%) of cases.
Uterine agenesis is the extreme of Mullerian duct anomalies (Class I) where there is a complete absence of uterine tissue above the vagina.
The uterine agenesis-hypoplasia spectrum accounts for ~10-15% of all Müllerian duct anomalies.
The uterine artery is seen bilaterally and is a branch of the anterior division of the internal iliac artery.
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 ...
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...
The uterine tube, also known as the fallopian tube, is a paired structure 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 affected by a wide range of patholo...
The uterus is a hollow, thick-walled, muscular organ of the female reproductive tract that lies in the lesser pelvis.
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 ...
The vagina is a midline fibromuscular tubular structure positioned in the female perineum extending superiorly to the cervix and uterus in the pelvis.
The vagina is 8-10 cm in length, extending posterosuperior from the vestibule through the urogenital diaphragm to the uterus. Th...