Parturition pit: the bony imprint of vaginal birth

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate for pits along the dorsum of the pubic body in females and compare the presence/absence of these pits to vaginal birth data. Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed females with vaginal birth data who underwent pelvic CT. The presence of pits along the dorsum of the pubic body, pit grade (0 = not present; 1 = faintly imperceptible; 2 = present; 3 = prominent), and the presence of osteitis condensans ilii, preauricular sulcus, and sacroiliac joint vacuum phenomenon were assessed on imaging. Musculoskeletal radiologists who were blinded to the birth data evaluated the CTs. 48 males were also evaluated for the presence of pits. Results: 482 female patients underwent CT pelvis and 171 were excluded due to lack of vaginal birth data. Of the 311 study patients, 262 had prior vaginal birth(s) and 194 had pits on CT. Only 7 of the 49 patients without prior vaginal birth had pits. There was a statistically significant association between vaginal birth and presence of pits (p < 0.0001). Patients with more prominent pits (grades 2/3) had a greater number of vaginal births. As vaginal deliveries increased, the odds of having parturition pits greatly increased, adjusting for age and race at CT (p < 0.0001). No males had pits. Conclusion: Our study indicates that parturition pits are associated with prior vaginal birth and should be considered a characteristic of the female pelvis. The lytic appearance of prominent pits on imaging can simulate disease and create a diagnostic dilemma for interpreting radiologists.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 23980941
  • Author List

  • McArthur TA; Meyer I; Jackson B; Pitt MJ; Larrison MC
  • Start Page

  • 1263
  • End Page

  • 1267
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 9