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Radiographics. 2018 Nov-Dec;38(7):2195-2211. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018180089.

Suspensory Ligaments of the Female Genital Organs: MRI Evaluation with Intraoperative Correlation.

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From the Department of Radiology (M.K., R.A.K.) and the Institute of Gynecology (M.H.), Kantonsspital Baden, Baden, Switzerland; the Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Pomeranian Medical University Clinical Hospital No. 1, Szczecin, Poland (P.G.); and the Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (C.M.).


The uterus, which plays an important role in the reproductive process, provides a home for the developing fetus and so must be in a stable, though flexible, location. Various structures with suspensory ligaments help provide this berth. MRI with high spatial resolution allows us to detect and evaluate these relatively fine structures. Under physiologic conditions, MRI can be used to depict uterine and ovarian ligaments (ie, the uterosacral, cardinal, and round ligaments, as well as the suspensory ligament of the ovary). In the presence of pathologic conditions (inflammation, endometriosis, tumors), the suspensory ligaments may appear thickened or invaded, which makes their delineation easier. Understanding the normal anatomy of the suspensory ligaments of the female genital organs and using a standardized nomenclature are essential for identifying and reporting related pathologic conditions. The female pelvic anatomy and the suspensory ligaments of the female genital organs are described as depicted with MRI. Also, the compartmental anatomy of the female pelvis is explained, including the extraperitoneal pelvic spaces. Finally, a checklist is provided for structured reporting of the MRI findings in the female pelvis. Online supplemental material is available for this article. ©RSNA, 2018.


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