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Cardinal ligament

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Title: Cardinal ligament  
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Subject: Round ligament of uterus, Cervix, Vagina, Pubocervical ligament, Tunica albuginea (ovaries)
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Cardinal ligament

Cardinal ligament
Vessels of the uterus and its appendages, rear view. (Cardinal ligament not visible, but location can be inferred from position of uterine artery and uterine vein.)
Uterus and right broad ligament, seen from behind. (Cardinal ligament not labeled, but broad ligament visible at center.)
Latin ligamentum cardinale, ligamentum transversum cervicis, ligamentum transversalis colli
Gray's p.1261
Anatomical terminology

The cardinal ligament (or Mackenrodt's ligament,[1] lateral cervical ligament, or transverse cervical ligament[2]) is a major ligament of the uterus. It is located at the base of the broad ligament of the uterus. Importantly, it contains the uterine artery and uterine vein. There is a pair of cardinal ligaments in the female human body.

It attaches the cervix to the lateral pelvic wall by its attachment to the Obturator fascia of the Obturator internus muscle, and is continuous externally with the fibrous tissue that surrounds the pelvic blood vessels. It thus provides support to the uterus.[3]

It may be of clinical significance in hysterectomy,[4][5] due to its close proximity to the ureters, which can get damaged during ligation of the ligament.

See also


  1. ^ Netter, Frank H. (2003). Atlas of Human Anatomy, Professional Edition. Philadelphia: Saunders. p. 370.  
  2. ^ Anatomy Labs #12 & 13
  3. ^ Kyung Won, PhD. Chung (2005). Gross Anatomy (Board Review). Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 274.  
  4. ^ Kato T, Murakami G, Yabuki Y (2002). "Does the cardinal ligament of the uterus contain a nerve that should be preserved in radical hysterectomy?". Anat Sci Int 77 (3): 161–8.  
  5. ^ Kato T, Murakami G, Yabuki Y (2003). "A new perspective on nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy: nerve topography and over-preservation of the cardinal ligament.". Jpn J Clin Oncol 33 (11): 589–91.  

External links

  • Cardinal+ligament at eMedicine Dictionary
  • figures/chapter_35/35-5.HTM - Basic Human Anatomy at Dartmouth Medical School
  • part_6/chapter_35.html - Basic Human Anatomy at Dartmouth Medical School

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

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