open access

Vol 72, No 2 (2013)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2013-06-01
Submitted: 2013-06-05
Accepted: 2013-06-05
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Reappraisal of the ligament of Henle (ligamentum inguinale internum mediale; Henle, 1871): a topohistological study using Korean foetuses

J. D. Yang, H. P. Hwang, J. H. Kim, G. Murakami, J. F. Rodríguez-Vázquez, B. H. Cho
DOI: 10.5603/FM.2013.0025
·
Folia Morphol 2013;72(2):147-154.

open access

Vol 72, No 2 (2013)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2013-06-01
Submitted: 2013-06-05
Accepted: 2013-06-05

Abstract

Ligament of Henle is one of muscle-associated connective tissues of the rectusabdominis muscle, but it has been confused with the conjoint tendon (a common aponeurosis for insertion of the inferomedial end of the obliquus internusand transversus abdominis muscles). To reconsider the inguinal connective tissue structures, we examined 20 mid-term foetuses (10 males and 10 females) at approximately 14–20 weeks of gestation (crown rump length 100–170 mm). In female horizontal sections, we consistently found the ligament of Henle asa wing-like aponeurosis extending from the lateral margin of the rectus tendonbehind the superficial inguinal ring. The ligament was separated from and located behind the conjoint tendon. In all male foetuses, instead of the ligament, the conjoint tendon was evident behind the superficial ring and it winded around the posterior aspect of the spermatic cord. Therefore, although a limited number ofspecimens were examined, the ligament of Henle was likely to be a female-specificstructure. The ligament of Henle, if developed well, may provide an arch-likestructure suitable for a name “falx inguinalis” instead of the inferomedial end ofthe conjoint tendon. In addition, a covering fascia of the iliopsoas muscle joined the posterior wall of the inguinal canal in male, but not in female, specimens.

Abstract

Ligament of Henle is one of muscle-associated connective tissues of the rectusabdominis muscle, but it has been confused with the conjoint tendon (a common aponeurosis for insertion of the inferomedial end of the obliquus internusand transversus abdominis muscles). To reconsider the inguinal connective tissue structures, we examined 20 mid-term foetuses (10 males and 10 females) at approximately 14–20 weeks of gestation (crown rump length 100–170 mm). In female horizontal sections, we consistently found the ligament of Henle asa wing-like aponeurosis extending from the lateral margin of the rectus tendonbehind the superficial inguinal ring. The ligament was separated from and located behind the conjoint tendon. In all male foetuses, instead of the ligament, the conjoint tendon was evident behind the superficial ring and it winded around the posterior aspect of the spermatic cord. Therefore, although a limited number ofspecimens were examined, the ligament of Henle was likely to be a female-specificstructure. The ligament of Henle, if developed well, may provide an arch-likestructure suitable for a name “falx inguinalis” instead of the inferomedial end ofthe conjoint tendon. In addition, a covering fascia of the iliopsoas muscle joined the posterior wall of the inguinal canal in male, but not in female, specimens.
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Keywords

inguinal canal, rectus abdominis muscle, conjoint tendon, inguinal falx, gender difference, human foetus

About this article
Title

Reappraisal of the ligament of Henle (ligamentum inguinale internum mediale; Henle, 1871): a topohistological study using Korean foetuses

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 72, No 2 (2013)

Pages

147-154

Published online

2013-06-01

DOI

10.5603/FM.2013.0025

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2013;72(2):147-154.

Keywords

inguinal canal
rectus abdominis muscle
conjoint tendon
inguinal falx
gender difference
human foetus

Authors

J. D. Yang
H. P. Hwang
J. H. Kim
G. Murakami
J. F. Rodríguez-Vázquez
B. H. Cho

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