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International Journal of Anatomical Variations

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Unilateral partial absence of rectus abdominis muscle

Author(s): Sumathi Shanmugam*, Sivakami Thiagarajan and Gayathri Jayamurugavel

The rectus abdominis is a strap muscle situated in the anterior abdominal wall on either side of the midline. Complete or partial absence or alterations of anterior abdominal wall muscles is rare and occurs in 7% of individuals. The absence of abdominal muscles associated with genitourinary abnormalities is described as prune belly syndrome. In prune belly variant, there are defects only in the abdominal wall muscles without associated urological defects. However, the rectus muscle is not involved in it. Isolated complete or partial absence of rectus abdominis is rare. We report here a case where the rectus abdominis of right side was aponeurotic in the supraumbilical part. The length of the aponeurotic part was 9.5 cm and the breadth was 4 cm. The rectus abdominis of left side and other anterior abdominal muscles were normal. The complete absence of abdominal muscles occurs if there is damage before six weeks of development. The hypoplasia of muscle presenting as localized fibrous defects is more suggestive of vascular compromise. This variation is significant in the light of the rectus abdominis muscle being used in various surgical reconstruction techniques.

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