Morphometric study of the human neonatal ovary

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Abstract

A morphometric analysis, based on mathematical evaluations and stereological methods, has been used to study five left neonatal ovaries, removed from full-term neonates with a 46, XX karyotype free from malformations of the genital apparatus.

Each ovary was completely cut obtaining serial sections and one 1-μ-thick section every 1,000 μ was examined. Ovarian length ranged from 9 to 17 mm (mean 13 mm), width from 3.5 to 7 mm (mean 5.7 mm), thickness from 2.5 to 5 mm (mean 4 mm), and volume from 82.23 to 198.3 mm3 (mean 125.88 mm3). In the ovarian cortex, primitive cortical tissue accounted for 10-20% of the total volume, follicles for 10-25% and interstitium for 35-45%; 10-30% of the organ consisted of inner medulla. The total follicle number ranged from 130,000 to 385,000 per ovary, with an average of 266,000 with 95% being represented by primordial follicles. In all ovaries examined follicular growth was still in process, with follicles at different stages of development.

Ancillary