Vascular anatomy of the presacral space in unembalmed female cadavers

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Dec;195(6):1736-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2006.07.045.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize the vascular anatomy of the female presacral space (PSS) and to correlate findings to the abdominal sacrocolpopexy.

Study design: Detailed dissections of the PSS were performed in 52 unembalmed female cadavers.

Results: The closest cephalad vessel to the mid sacral promontory (MSP) was the left common iliac vein (LCIV), mean distance 27 mm (9-52 mm). The closest vessel lateral to MSP was also the LCIV, mean distance 22 mm (9-35 mm). The average distance of the middle sacral artery and vein to the MSP was 4 mm (0-15 mm) and 7 mm (0-17 mm), respectively. The mean distance of the sacral venous plexuses to the MSP was 34 mm (4-86 mm).

Conclusion: Anatomic location of the vascular boundaries and contents of the PSS is highly variable. Careful dissection and exposure of the anterior longitudinal ligament of the sacrum before suture placement should minimize potentially life-threatening vascular complications.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteries / anatomy & histology
  • Blood Vessels / anatomy & histology
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iliac Vein / anatomy & histology
  • Middle Aged
  • Sacrococcygeal Region / blood supply*
  • Veins / anatomy & histology