On the Anatomy and Histology of the Pubovisceral Muscle Enthesis in Women
The origin of the pubovisceral muscle (PVM) from the pubic bone is known to be at elevated risk for injury during difficult vaginal births. We examined the anatomy and histology of its enthesial origin to classify its type and see if it differs from appendicular entheses. Parasagittal sections of the pubic bone, PVM enthesis, myotendinous junction, and muscle proper were harvested from five female cadavers (51-98 years). Histological sections were prepared with hematoxylin and eosin, Masson's trichrome, and Verhoeff-Van Gieson stains. The type of enthesis was identified according to a published enthesial classification scheme. Quantitative imaging analysis was performed in sampling bands 2 mm apart along the enthesis to determine its cross-sectional area and composition. The PVM enthesis can be classified as a fibrous enthesis. The PVM muscle fibers terminated in collagenous fibers that insert tangentially onto the periosteum of the pubic bone for the most part. Sharpey's fibers were not observed. In a longitudinal cross-section, the area of the connective tissue and muscle becomes equal approximately 8 mm from the pubic bone. The PVM originates bilaterally from the pubic bone via fibrous entheses whose collagen fibers arise tangentially from the periosteum of the pubic bone.