Document Detail

A contribution to knowledge of the compartments and the fascial and septal formations of the popliteal fossa in the human fetus and the adult.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1817458     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A contribution to knowledge of the compartments and the fascial and septal formations of the popliteal fossa in the human fetus and the adult. A study was made in human fetuses from the 3rd month onwards, newborn and the adult of the fascial and septal formations and the compartments of the popliteal fossa. Observations of serial sections of the knee of human fetuses, of macroscopic preparations of the knee of newborns and of ultrasound images of the popliteal fossa in adults showed that: the fascial formation covering the popliteal fossa consists of the popliteal fascia and the superficial fascia. The bud of the popliteal fascia is observable in the 3-month fetus as a layer of thin fibrillar connective tissue which is thicker in the tracts between the muscle buds. At birth the popliteal fascia is clearly a separate anatomical entity of continuous laminar structure which is thicker in the tracts between the muscles and thinner where it covers them. The superficial fascia becomes evident in fetuses at a later stage (6th month) in the form of a thin lamina in the frontal plane which at birth is well defined and observable as a thin continuous line deep below the subcutaneous layer. The septal formation consists of four septa: two in the sagittal plane (lateral and medial) and two in the frontal plane (lateral and medial). The bud of these septa appears in 4-month fetuses after the appearance of the popliteal fascia. They branch off from the thicker connective areas between the muscles buds as connective prolongations which later assume a laminar aspect and eventually become compact and form septa. In at-term fetuses and newborns these septal formations are clearly recognizable as antomical entities, which branch off from the deep surface of the thicker tracts of the popliteal fascia and are inserted into the femur. The relationships and connections with the muscular groups are also clearly visible. The organization and demarcation of the compartments, which is already delineated in the 6-month fetus, seems to be completed at birth, considering the presence of the superficial fascia, the popliteal fascia and the septa. It is possible to distinguish a superficial compartment between the popliteal and the superficial fascia an a deep compartment between the frontal septa, the skeletal plane and the popliteal fascia. This deep compartment is clearly subdivided by the two sagittal septa into three sectors (medial, intermediate and lateral). The medial and lateral sectors contain muscles, while the intermediate compartment contains the vasculonervous bundle and the popliteal adipose body.
G Peri; V Valenza; E Farina-Lipari; C Ridola
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archivio italiano di anatomia e di embriologia. Italian journal of anatomy and embryology     Volume:  96     ISSN:  0004-0223     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch Ital Anat Embriol     Publication Date:    1991 Jul-Sep
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-07-09     Completed Date:  1992-07-09     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985162R     Medline TA:  Arch Ital Anat Embriol     Country:  ITALY    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  201-17     Citation Subset:  IM    
Dipartimento di Discipline Chirurgiche e Anatomiche, Università di Palermo.
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MeSH Terms
Fascia / anatomy & histology*,  embryology,  ultrasonography
Femur / anatomy & histology,  embryology
Fetus / anatomy & histology*
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Knee Joint / anatomy & histology*,  embryology,  ultrasonography
Tibia / anatomy & histology,  embryology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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