Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 180, Issue 1, pp 57–64 | Cite as

Topography of the pelvic autonomic nerves in human fetuses between 21–29 weeks of gestation

  • Helga Fritsch
Original Articles

Summary

A topographical study concerning the autonomic nerves in the pelvis of human fetuses was performed by investigating 300–600 μm thick sections through fetal pelves, impregnated with the epoxy resin E 12 and cut with a diamond wire-saw. In addition the inferior hypogastric plexus of a 26-week old male fetus was dissected by lateral approach. In 21–29-week old fetuses the pelvic autonomic nerves are relatively thick. Thus the nerves stand out well against surrounding structures and their topographical relationships can exactly be determined. The inferior hypogastric plexus of 21–29-week old fetuses is situated on a curved line between the rectum and the ventrally adjacent structure. It constitutes a rectangular plate, which cannot be subdivided into individual plexuses for the different pelvic organs. The fetal plexus is heavily ganglionated. Large ganglia, forming the so-called ganglion of “Frankenhaeuser”, are found in the female as well as in the male fetus. In the fetal pelvis the connective tissue compartments are still clearly arranged, because adipose tissue is not yet abundant. The greater part of the inferior hypogastric plexus is situated exactly at the border between a dense visceral tissue medially and a loose parietal tissue laterally. The plexus does not share a common connective tissue cover with the pelvic blood vessels. In fetuses the inferior hypogastric plexus lies in close vicinity to serveral organs, but the pelvic floor is the only region where the nerves can hardly be separated from the surrounding structures.

Key words

Human development Fetus Pelvic autonomic nerves Topography 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baljet B, Drukker J (1981) Some aspects of the innervation of the abdominal and pelvic organs in the human female fetus. Acta Anat 111:222–230Google Scholar
  2. Blok S De (1982) The connective tissue of the female fetal pelvic region. Acta Morphol Neerl Scand 20:65–92Google Scholar
  3. Curtis AH, Anson BJ, Ashley FL, Jones T (1942) The anantomy of the pelvic autonomic nerves in relation to gynecology. Surg Gynecol Obstet 75:743–750Google Scholar
  4. Frankenhaeuser F (1867) Die Nerven der Gebaermutter und ihre Endigungen in den glatten Muskelfasern. Mauke, JenaGoogle Scholar
  5. Fritsch H (1988) Developmental changes in the retrorectal region of the human fetus. Anat Embryol 177:513–522Google Scholar
  6. Goetze O (1951) Chirurgische Beobachtungen zur vegetativen Innervation der Becken-Organe, speziell des After-Schließmuskels. Dtsch Z Nervenheilkd 166:177–188Google Scholar
  7. Hagens G von (1985) Heidelberger Plastinationshefter. Anatomisches Institut I, Universität Heidelberg, D-6900 Heidelberg, FRGGoogle Scholar
  8. Hayek H von (1969) Die Innervation der Backnorgane. In: Alken CE, Dix VW, Goodwin WE, Wildbolz E (eds) Handbuch der Urologie. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 512–517Google Scholar
  9. Hovelacque A (1927) Anatomie des nerfs craniens et rachidiens et du système grand sympathique chez l'homme. Gaston Doin et Cie, ParisGoogle Scholar
  10. Kimmel DL, McCrea LE (1958) The development of the pelvic plexuses and the distribution of the pelvic splanchnic nerves in the human embryo and fetus. J Comp Neurol 110:271–297Google Scholar
  11. Kuntz A (1947) The autonomic nervous system. Lea & Febiger, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  12. Kuntz A (1952) Origin and early development of the pelvic neural plexus. J Comp Neurol 96:345–357Google Scholar
  13. Laczkó J, Lévai G (1975) A simple staining method for semithin sections of ossifying cartilage and bone tissue embedded in epoxy resin. Mikroskopie 31:1–4Google Scholar
  14. Lepor H, Gregerman M, Crosby R, Mostofi FK, Walsh PC (1985) Precise localization of the autonomic nerves from the pelvic plexus to the corpora cavernosa: A detailed anatomical study of the adult male pelvis. J Urol 133:207–212Google Scholar
  15. Long DM, Bernstein WC (1959) Sexual dysfunction as a complication of abdomino-perineal resection of the rectum in male. Dis Colon Rectum 2:540–548Google Scholar
  16. Mitchell GAG (1953) Anatomy of the autonomic nervous system. E & S Livingstone LTD, Edinburgh, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. Moore KL (1977) The developing human, 2nd edn. WB Saunders Book Company, Philadelphia London TorontoGoogle Scholar
  18. Patten BM (1968) Human Embryology, 3 edn. Mc Graw-Hill Book Company, New York Toronto Sydney LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Pernkopf E (1941) Topographische Anatomie des Menschen Bd 2, Teil 2. Urban und Schwarzenberg, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  20. Pick J (1970) The autonomic nervous system: Morphological, comparative, clinical and surgical aspects. Lippincott, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  21. Schwab K, Hagens G von (1981) Freeze substitution of macroscopic specimens for plastination. Sixth European Anatomical Congress, Acta Anat 111:139–140Google Scholar
  22. Stelzner F (1977) Über Potenzstörungen nach Amputation und Kontinenzresektion des Rektums. Zentralbl Chir 102:212–219Google Scholar
  23. Stelzner F, Fritsch H, Fleischhauer K (1989) Die chirurgische Anatomie der Genitalnerven des Mannes und ihre Schonung bei der Exzision des Rektums. Chirurg 60:228–234Google Scholar
  24. Walsh PC, Donker PJ (1982) Impotence following radical prostatectomy: insight into etiology and prevention. J Urol 128:492–497Google Scholar
  25. Walsh PC, Lepor U, Eggleston JC (1983) Radical Prostatectomy with preservation of sexual function: anatomical and pathological considerations. Prostate 4:473–485Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helga Fritsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Anatomical InstituteUniversity of BonnBonn 1Federal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations