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Median Umbilical Ligament
Urogenital System

Median Umbilical Ligament

ligamentum umbilicale medianum

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Structure/Morphology

The median umbilical ligament is composed of smooth muscle fibers close to the bladder and becomes more fibrous as it approaches the umbilicus. It typically maintains a small lumen that is lined by epithelium.

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Anatomical Relations

The median umbilical ligament attaches to the apex of the bladder and travels superiorly to the umbilicus. This structure is also known as the urachus.

Function

The median umbilical ligament is a remnant of the allantois, a canal that ran from the apex of the bladder to the umbilical cord in the developing fetus. Its function was to allow for the exchange of gases and removal of liquid waste (Dorland, 2011). The allantois largely closes and is referred to as the urachus or median umbilical ligament after birth. As an adult this structure serves no function.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Urachal cyst

—Urachal sinus

—Urachal fistula

—Adenocarcinoma

References

Dorland, W. A. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn.

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