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BJU Int. 2010 Jan;105(1):21-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.08702.x. Epub 2009 Jun 22.

Neuroanatomy of the male pelvis in respect to radical prostatectomy including three-dimensional visualization.

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Anatomy, University of Leipzig, Germany.


The neuroanatomical structures of the radical prostatectomy (RP) are extensively discussed for their existence, localization and function. Especially structures, e.g. the so-called neurovascular bundle (NVB) that are points of debate in numerous anatomical studies. We review the literature and present our observations in cadaveric specimens, to reconstruct neuroanatomical structures in three dimensions (3D) with the use of appropriate computer applications and produce images of operative fields. We used an internet PubMed survey ( to review recent publications and included back copies of historical neuroanatomical studies from our own library. Our own experimental cadaveric (specimens preserved in Thiel's solution) studies of the autonomic nerve supply of the lower urinary tract were also reviewed. Visualization of the pelvic anatomy and neuroanatomy was done using computer-based software packages. No unified terminology for the structures of the NVBs can be presented to date. The innervation of the smooth muscular structures of the urethra and the complex morphology of urethral sphincter remain unclear. Our cadaveric studies showed that nerves are located on the lateral aspect of the prostate in addition to the NVBs described at the dorsolateral side of the prostate. The neuroanatomical investigations of the male pelvis and visualization of the structures in 3D enable the presentation of operative sites as seen intraoperatively. Moreover, dynamic depiction of the pelvic floor is also possible.

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