Anatomy word of the month: Cul-de-sac

March 3, 2014 —

Culdesac-street“Bottom of the bag” in French. In everyday English a cul-de-sac is a blind alley, a dead-end street. In anatomy a cul-de-sac is a blind-ending pouch. The most well known is the rectouterine pouch between the uterus and rectum in the female. It is also called the pouch of Douglas, named after a 17th century Scottish anatomist. This pouch has clinical significance because it is the lowest point of the pelvic cavity of the female. Fluids and pathological material such as blood or pus may accumulate in this cul-de-sac.

Dr. Dyche was born in New Jersey and trained at Penn State’s Hershey Medical Center before coming to Des Moines in 1976. Over 30 plus years he has taught gross anatomy, embryology and neuroanatomy. He also served in administration as associate dean for basic sciences, dean of the College of Health Sciences, and acting director of the PA program. He was one of the founding instructors of CPR and ACLS at a time when few medical schools offered this training. He retired to Oregon in 2008, then returned to DMU in 2009. Did he miss the tornadoes, the below zero wind chills or the cadavers?