Early development of the human pelvic diaphragm

Wijnandus Franciscus Robertus Maria Koch

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation UT

    411 Downloads (Pure)


    The last decade an increasing interest in the pelvic floor can be observed in medical sciences. The lack of data on the development of the human pelvic floor is striking. The early development of the human pelvic diaphragm was studied. Materials and methodsUse was made of 38 human embryos and fetuses with a crown-rump-length of 9.5 mm to 50 mm, covering the developmental period of 6 to 12 weeks post conception. In five stages the pelvic floor was three dimensionally reconstructed. The different muscles constituting the pelvic diaphragm were identified and their development was described over time. ResultsThe pelvic diaphragm constitutes of two muscles, the m. levatoris ani and the m. coccygeus, anchored to the inner aspect of the pelvis and the m. obturatorius internus, which plays an important role. The muscles are present on the left and right side. The m. levator ani is one single muscle, developing as a part of the external anal sphincter complex. During its development it spreads out over the ventral pelvic outlet in a ventral to dorsal direction. The existence of a separate m. puborectalis or puborectal sling could not be confirmed. The m. coccygeus develops near the future spina ischiadica and grows towards the os coccygis. It is divided in a ventral and dorsal part, forming the actual m. coccygeus and ligamentum sacrospinale respectively. The m. obturatorius internus develops in a dorsal to ventral direction, originating at the level of the femur head and growing into the pelvic cavity. The development induces the formation of the membrana obturatoria. ConclusionThe early development of the pelvic diaphragm could be described and defined over time, bringing new insights to the anatomy of the pelvic floor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Marani, Enrico , Supervisor
    Award date30 Jun 2006
    Place of PublicationHeerhugowaard
    Print ISBNs978-90-9020736-0
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2006


    • BSS-Neurotechnology and cellular engineering


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