Determination of a Central Avascular Triangle within the Obturator Foramen: A Radioanatomic Study

Purpose

To map the vascular anatomy of the obturator foramen using fixed anatomic landmarks.

Method

Twenty obturator regions were dissected in 10 fresh female cadavers after vascular blue dye injection in five cadavers (50%). Furthermore, 104 obturator regions were reconstructed by angiotomodensitometry from 52 women under investigation for suspected arterial disease. The anatomy of the obturator region was mapped by measuring the distance of vascular structures from the middle of the two branches of the ischiopubic bone, which were used as fixed landmarks.

Results

The bifurcation of the obturator artery was at a mean (SD) distance of 30.0 mm (4.5) from the middle of the ischiopubic branch (MISP). The anterior branch of the obturator vessels was 15.2 mm (10.1) from the MISP. The posterior branch of the obturator vessels was 5.5 mm (4.0) and 23.6 mm (8.7) from the middle of the outer edge of the obturator foramen (MOE) and the MISP, respectively. Using 5° and 95° percentiles of these measurements we defined a central avascular triangle.

Conclusions

Our data show that, beyond inter-individual variations, a central triangular avascular area can be identified in the obturator foramen between the posterior and anterior obturator artery using fixed landmarks.