Development of the human retroperitoneal fasciae

Akio Matsubara, Gen Murakami, Hitoshi Niikura, Yusuke Kinugasa, Mineko Fujimiya, Tsuguru Usui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Although the renal fascia (RF), ureteral sheath, lateroconal fascia (LF) and hypogastric nerve are critical landmarks for retroperitoneal surgery, their laminar relationships require clarification. Materials and Methods: Horizontal sections (hematoxylin-eosin staining) of human fetuses at two different developmental stages [9-12 (3 fetuses, crown-rump length, CRL 40-65 mm) and 20-25 weeks of gestation (9 fetuses, CRL 152-220 mm)] were compared. Results: In the early-stage group, the pararenal space had already formed between the posterior RF and the transversalis fascia (TF). The anterior RF extended along the peritoneum and often fused with the latter. In the late-stage group, the posterior RF extended inferomedially toward the anterior aspect of the aorta and inferior vena cava. However, at the level of the renal hilus, the posterior RF was connected with vascular sheaths of the great vessels. The LF was seen developing as a fasciculation of the multilaminar structure in the pararenal space. However, on the posterolateral side of the colon after retroperitoneal fixation, the fusion fascia of the peritoneum could also be identified as LF. Conclusions: A common sheath for ureters and hypogastric nerves appeared to be likely on the inferior side of the kidney. The LF did not appear to be a primary structure such as the RF, but a result of secondary mechanical stress due to fatty tissue developing earlier along the TF than in the perirenal space. However, the suggested similarity between LF and fusion fascia in the plane occupied was a likely cause for misinterpreting the laminar configurations during surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-296
Number of pages11
JournalCells Tissues Organs
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct


  • Human fetus
  • Hypogastric nerve
  • Lateroconal fascia
  • Renal fascia
  • Ureter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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