Request for Information (RFI): Ovarian Anatomy Nomenclature Workshop Proposal at NICHD
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

March 21, 2021

Response Date:
April 30, 2021

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Issued by

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)


This Request for Information (RFI) from the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Program (PAG) of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) solicits public input to inform a workshop aimed at establishing an updated ovarian anatomy nomenclature.


The PAG program is currently developing a workshop aimed at establishing a rigorously defined, reproducible ovarian anatomy nomenclature. Participants will include a multidisciplinary group of experts in pediatric adolescent gynecology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, gynecologic pathology and imaging, gynecologic oncology, fertility preservation and ovarian biology.

The ovaries play a fundamental role in reproduction, in steroid production, and in the maintenance of general health. Historically, regions of the ovary were broadly defined into the cortex (containing follicles), the medulla (containing blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves), and the hilum (entry point for the ovarian vessels). Furthermore, the ovary poses several unique challenges to mapping. First, lax suspension by the mesovarium, the utero-ovarian ligament, and the infundibulopelvic (suspensory) ligament allows for variable orientation in the same individual at different times. Additionally, the ovaries may assume unusual locations in the abdomen or pelvis in the setting of pathology, due to previous surgery, or simply non-pathologic variation in anatomy. While there was a clear rationale for defining ovarian anatomy by functional units as previously understood, improved imaging modalities and molecular studies now allow more precise characterization of tissue/organ anatomy and function down to the cellular level. As a result, there is an opportunity to develop a more specific and comprehensive nomenclature for the ovary at both the large scale (“gross”) and sub-anatomic levels.

A refined definition of ovarian anatomy will be critical not only for accurately detailing the heterogeneity of cellular composition and function throughout this tissue, but also for standardizing tissue collection and comparison for both clinical and research purposes.

Information Requested

This RFI from the PAG of NICHD invites comments and suggestions to guide in the planning of this workshop including, but not limited to the bulleted topics below. When appropriate, please also include hyperlinks to pertinent references, databases, or other online resources.

  • Key needs for an ovarian anatomical nomenclature system
  • Perceived limitations in the current nomenclature
  • Types of data to be considered in defining a new nomenclature
  • Challenges in defining ovarian anatomy
  • Optimal characteristics for a novel nomenclature

How to Submit a Response

Responses to this RFI must be submitted by email to Responses to this RFI are voluntary and will be accepted through April 30, 2021. Proprietary, confidential, classified, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. You will see an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response but will not receive individual feedback.

This RFI is for planning purposes only and is not a solicitation for applications or an obligation on the part of the United States (U.S.) Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.

We look forward to your input and hope that you will share this RFI document with your colleagues.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Program (PAG)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

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