Vascular Anatomy

  • Elizabeth M. Ramsey


Most of the blood vessels of the body maintain a high degree of stability once they are fully formed. Changes associated with advancing years creep on slowly, almost imperceptibly, and only dramatic episodes of disease or trauma call forth the vessels’ inherent capacity for regeneration. The blood vessels of the uterus, however, and particularly those of the endometrium, form an exception to this generalization. In them, stability gives place to a high degree of variability. The variability is of two sorts, for the regularly recurring interruptions of vascular pattern associated with the menstrual cycle are themselves interrupted at irregular intervals by the vascular upheavals occasioned by pregnancy. The efficiency with which the vessels adapt to this demanding schedule forms the dividing line between normal function and pathology. The factors that produce vascular variability also control the cyclic changes in the parenchymatous tissues of the endometrium, in large part secondarily via the blood vessels. The latter may therefore with justice be regarded as dynamic determinants of endometrial activity and as such merit a detailed consideration of their anatomy and physiology.


Uterine Artery Human Placenta Maternal Blood Vascular Anatomy Spiral Artery 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth M. Ramsey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EmbryologyCarnegie Institution of WashingtonBaltimoreUSA

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