Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 243–248 | Cite as

An anatomical study of the intersigmoid fossa and applications for internal hernia surgery

  • O. R. Somé
  • J. M. Ndoye
  • R. Yohann
  • G. Nolan
  • H. Roccia
  • W. P. Dakoure
  • P. Chaffanjon
Original Article



To improve the knowledge of the morphometry and the surrounding anatomical structures of the intersigmoid fossa and to determine possible surgical applications.


Forty eight adult cadavers (29 female and 19 male; mean age 83 years) underwent dissection in the Laboratoire d’Anatomie des Alpes Francaises. Two injections in the right carotid resulted in a total body concentration of formalin of 1.3 %. The study parameters were the dimensions of the intersigmoid fossa orifice and the fossa’s relationship to surrounding structures. Data were recorded and analyzed using Microsoft Office Excel (MS Cerp). A Pearson coefficient r was used to examine the correlation between the length of colon and the ISF volume.


The intersigmoid fossa was present in 75 % of cases (n = 36). The average dimensions for the transverse diameter, longitudinal diameter, and the depth were, respectively, 20.5 ± 0.2, 20.3 ± 0.13, and 26.8 ± 0.2 mm. The primary and secondary roots bordering this fossa measured on average 59.1 ± 0.1 and 48.3 ± 0.13 mm. In 13.9 % of cases (n = 5), the maximum depth was >40 mm and in 16.7 % of cases (n = 6), one of the diameters of the orifice entry of the fossa was >40 mm. The ureter and external iliac artery were the most frequently encountered structures during the dissection of the fundus of the intersigmoid fossa.


The intersigmoid fossa remains present in most of the reported dissections of cadavers. It constitutes an essential landmark in the surgery of the sigmoid colon due to its deep structural relationship with the left ureter and external iliac artery.


Sigmoid fossa Intersigmoid recess Dimensions Relations 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. R. Somé
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. M. Ndoye
    • 2
  • R. Yohann
    • 1
  • G. Nolan
    • 1
  • H. Roccia
    • 1
  • W. P. Dakoure
    • 1
  • P. Chaffanjon
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’anatomie des Alpes françaises (LADAF) de la faculté de médecineUniversité Joseph FourierGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’anatomieUniversité Cheickh Anta DiopDakarSenegal
  3. 3.Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la SantéUniversité PolytechniqueBobo DioulassoBurkina Faso

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