Vascular anatomical relationships of the retropubic space and the sacrospinous ligament, using three-dimensional imaging

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Publication Date


Document Type



Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health


INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Pelvic anatomy is complex and intimate knowledge of variabilities in anatomical relationships is critical for surgeons to safely perform surgical procedures. Three-dimensional Imaging provides the opportunity to analyze undisturbed anatomical relationships. The authors hypothesized that three-dimensional models created from pelvic computed tomography angiograms could be used to obtain vascular anatomical measurements, and that the measurements obtained from three-dimensional models would be similar to those from cadaver studies.

METHODS: We included all pelvic computed tomography angiograms that were acquired in female patients older than 18 years at our institution within the previous 5 years. Three-dimensional models were created using the Invivo5 software based on the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine files. Structures of interest were virtually dissected and measured replicating previous cadaver studies. Statistical analysis of demographics and measurements was performed.

RESULTS: The final analysis included 87 studies. The average age of the subjects was 66.9 years and their average BMI was 26.1 kg/m2. Of the 87 subjects, 12.6% had a history of hysterectomy, 2.3% a history of a continence procedure, and 1.1% a history of a prolapse procedure. The range of distance between the ischial spine and the pudendal artery was 3-17 mm. The closest vessels to the lower edge of the symphysis pubis were the obturator vessels. The aberrant corona mortis vessel was present in 27.9% of the subjects. Prior hysterectomy was associated with changes in the measurements of the obturator arteries with minimal changes in other measurements.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that this technology provides similar measurements to those found in previous unembalmed cadaver studies. This technology offers a great opportunity to study anatomical relationships in a native undisturbed state.


Retropubic, Sacrospinous, Three-dimensional, Vascular anatomy

DOI of Published Version



Int Urogynecol J. 2017 Aug;28(8):1177-1182. doi: 10.1007/s00192-016-3240-0. Epub 2016 Dec 26. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International urogynecology journal

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID