A DILATED, TORTUOUS UTERINE ARTERY: GROSS ANATOMICAL VARIANT AND CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE

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2020

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Fisher, Cara
Clark, Chelsea

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Abstract

Purpose: Dilated tortuous uterine arteries are associated with multipara, and the resultant decreased blood flow can lead to a multitude of pre- and post-partum complications. We report an anatomical variant, provide retrospective discussion on previous research, and advocate future efforts in identification specifically to aid in preeclampsia screening and prevention. Methods: A left hemisected pelvis of a 43-year-old embalmed female cadaver was dissected. It revealed a dilated tortuous ascending branch of the uterine artery. We used digital imaging measurement software (ImageJ NIH, Bethesda MD) to measure the artery. Results: The dilated tortuous segment contained a total of eighteen direction changes in a ~2cm span. Conclusions: This variant illustrates the substantial compression of uterine artery vasculature in the body to less than 1/3 of its true length, a common finding in multiparous women experiencing preeclampsia. We suggest research focusing on developing a reproducible, credible identification method for uterine artery variants in women presenting with associated symptoms in order to prevent dangerous clinical manifestations.

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