I. Gross Anatomy and Histology
After going through this section you will be able to:
- list and identify the various parts of the fallopian tube
- describe the gross anatomy and histology of the fallopian tube
The fallopian tubes (uterine tubes, salpinx uteria, oviducts)
are bilateral ducts, about 10 cm long, that lie in the upper border
of the broad ligament and connect the uterine cavity to the peritoneal
cavity near the ovaries. Each tube is divided into 4 parts:
Infundibulum, the funnel-shaped, expanded lateral end
of the tube, which projects beyond the broad ligament and overlies
the ovary. The free edge has many finger-like processes, the fimbriae,
suspended over the ovary. It contains the abdominal ostium of
Ampulla, the intermediate segment, is next to the infundibulum.
It is wide and tortuous.
Isthmus, the narrow portion lies just lateral to the uterus.
Intramural (interstitial), the uterine portion of the
tube. This pierces the uterine wall, and through the uterine ostium,
opens into the endometrial cavity.
The wall of the fallopian tube consists of:
Mucosa, the inner layer. In the ampulla, this is relatively
thick and forms numerous elaborately branched finger-like processes,
the plicae, which gives a cross-section a maze-like appearance.
In the isthmus, the plicae are shorter and less branched, and
in the intramural segment, they are reduced to low ridges. The
mucosa is lined by simple columnar epithelium. The epithelial
cells are tallest in the infundibulum and ampulla and shorter
in the isthmus. Two types of epithelial cells, ciliated
and non-ciliated, are found the latter being secretory
cells. The lamina propria contains fibroblasts, reticular fibers
and a few lymphocytes and macrophages. There is no muscularis
Muscularis, the middle coat of smooth muscle. The mucosa
rests directly on this. It has three layers, an innermost circular
bundle, which merges with a middle layer of mixed circular and
longitudinal smooth muscle fibers and an outer longitudinal bundle.
Serosa, the peritoneal covering, is the outermost layer.