open access

Vol 72, No 1 (2013)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2013-03-05
Submitted: 2012-03-06
Accepted: 2012-06-19
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Anatomical factors causing oedema of the lower limb during pregnancy

B. Benninger, T. Delamarter
DOI: 10.5603/FM.2013.0011
·
Folia Morphol 2013;72(1):67-71.

open access

Vol 72, No 1 (2013)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2013-03-05
Submitted: 2012-03-06
Accepted: 2012-06-19

Abstract

Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the morphology of the common iliac artery and vein (CIA&V) comparing right and left sides in females versus males. Pregnant women favour lying on one side at rest and during sleep. The reason for this may be due to the morphology and orientation between the CIA&V. Virtually all women during their pregnancy suffer from lower limb swelling. This study provides an anatomical explanation for
the propensity to lie consistently on one side, for lower limb swelling, and offers prevention measures.


Materials and methods: A literature search was conducted on anatomical texts, atlases, journals, and websites regarding the morphology and orientation of the right and left CIA&V, lower limb oedema, and sleeping positions during pregnancy. Measurements from 15 dissected cadavers were conducted
on the right and left CIA&V.

Results: The literature search revealed very limited studies on the morphology and orientation of the right and left CIA&V with no studies relating this orientation to lower limb oedema or sleeping positions during pregnancy. Cadaver dissection revealed a relatively direct anterior to posterior orientation left CIA&V
and an oblique lateral to medial right CIA&V.


Conclusions: This study suggests an explanation of why women lie on their left side when resting and sleeping during the third trimester due to the clinically relevant anatomy between the CIA&V.

Abstract

Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the morphology of the common iliac artery and vein (CIA&V) comparing right and left sides in females versus males. Pregnant women favour lying on one side at rest and during sleep. The reason for this may be due to the morphology and orientation between the CIA&V. Virtually all women during their pregnancy suffer from lower limb swelling. This study provides an anatomical explanation for
the propensity to lie consistently on one side, for lower limb swelling, and offers prevention measures.


Materials and methods: A literature search was conducted on anatomical texts, atlases, journals, and websites regarding the morphology and orientation of the right and left CIA&V, lower limb oedema, and sleeping positions during pregnancy. Measurements from 15 dissected cadavers were conducted
on the right and left CIA&V.

Results: The literature search revealed very limited studies on the morphology and orientation of the right and left CIA&V with no studies relating this orientation to lower limb oedema or sleeping positions during pregnancy. Cadaver dissection revealed a relatively direct anterior to posterior orientation left CIA&V
and an oblique lateral to medial right CIA&V.


Conclusions: This study suggests an explanation of why women lie on their left side when resting and sleeping during the third trimester due to the clinically relevant anatomy between the CIA&V.

Get Citation

Keywords

common iliac arteries and veins, lower limb oedema, swollen ankles, third trimester sleeping habits

About this article
Title

Anatomical factors causing oedema of the lower limb during pregnancy

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 72, No 1 (2013)

Pages

67-71

Published online

2013-03-05

DOI

10.5603/FM.2013.0011

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2013;72(1):67-71.

Keywords

common iliac arteries and veins
lower limb oedema
swollen ankles
third trimester sleeping habits

Authors

B. Benninger
T. Delamarter

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