Cardinal ligament

The cardinal ligament (or Mackenrodt's ligament,[1] lateral cervical ligament, or transverse cervical ligament[2]) is a major ligament of the uterus. It is located at the base of the broad ligament of the uterus. There are a pair of cardinal ligaments in the female human body.

Cardinal ligament
Vessels of the uterus and its appendages, rear view. (Cardinal ligament not visible, but location can be inferred from position of uterine artery and uterine vein.)
Uterus and right broad ligament, seen from behind. (Cardinal ligament not labeled, but broad ligament visible at center.)
Latinligamentum cardinale, ligamentum transversum cervicis, ligamentum transversalis colli
Anatomical terminology

It attaches the cervix to the lateral pelvic wall by its attachment to the Obturator fascia of the Obturator internus muscle, and is continuous externally with the fibrous tissue that surrounds the pelvic blood vessels. It thus provides support to the uterus.[3] Additionally, it carries the uterine arteries to provide the primary blood supply to the uterus.

It may be of clinical significance in hysterectomy,[4][5] due to its close proximity to the ureters, which can get damaged during ligation of the ligament.

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1261 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. Netter, Frank H. (2003). Atlas of Human Anatomy, Professional Edition. Philadelphia: Saunders. p. 370. ISBN 1-4160-3699-7.
  2. Anatomy Labs #12 & 13
  3. Kyung Won, PhD. Chung (2005). Gross Anatomy (Board Review). Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 274. ISBN 0-7817-5309-0.
  4. Kato T, Murakami G, Yabuki Y (2002). "Does the cardinal ligament of the uterus contain a nerve that should be preserved in radical hysterectomy?". Anat Sci Int. 77 (3): 161–8. doi:10.1046/j.0022-7722.2002.00023.x. PMID 12422408.
  5. Kato T, Murakami G, Yabuki Y (2003). "A new perspective on nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy: nerve topography and over-preservation of the cardinal ligament". Jpn J Clin Oncol. 33 (11): 589–91. doi:10.1093/jjco/hyg107. PMID 14711985.
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