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Surg Radiol Anat. 2019 Jul;41(7):845-848. doi: 10.1007/s00276-018-02176-6. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

Case report: absence of the right piriformis muscle in a woman.

Author information

1
Division of Clinical and Functional Anatomy (Director: o.Univ.Prof. Dr. H. Fritsch), Medical University of Innsbruck, Muellerstrasse 59, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria. Erich.Brenner@i-med.ac.at.
2
Chirurgia Plastica Ricostruttiva ed Estetica, Policlinico 'Paolo Giaccone' di Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
3
Department of Surgical Oncological and Oral Science (DiChiRonS), Palermo University, Palermo, Italy.

Abstract

We report a very rare case of a unilaterally absent piriformis muscle in a 60 year old woman. Accompanying variations comprised a common gluteal artery (instead of two distinct superior and inferior gluteal arteries), and an absent gemellus inferior muscle. The contralateral left side showed a normally developed piriformis muscle. In hominoids, the piriformis is constant, but is regularly missing in several other vertebrates. The piriformis muscle is an anatomical landmark for ultrasound investigations and ultrasound-guided interventions in the deep gluteal region such as a superior gluteal nerve block or even a sacral plexus block, also for any surgical approach such as total hip arthroplasty. A missing piriformis muscle therefore affects the orientation in the deep gluteal region and therefore the identification of the targeted structures.

KEYWORDS:

Anatomical variation; Common gluteal artery; Deep gluteal region; Gemellus inferior muscle; Piriformis muscle

PMID:
30758526
DOI:
10.1007/s00276-018-02176-6

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