The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2010 / Article
Special Issue

Penile Anomalies in Children

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Review Article | Open Access

Volume 10 |Article ID 132104 | https://doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2010.112

Jenny H. Yiee, Laurence S. Baskin, "Penile Embryology and Anatomy", The Scientific World Journal, vol. 10, Article ID 132104, 6 pages, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2010.112

Penile Embryology and Anatomy

Academic Editor: Jeffrey Palmer
Received01 Mar 2010
Accepted12 Mar 2010

Abstract

Knowledge of penile embryology and anatomy is essential to any pediatric urologist in order to fully understand and treat congenital anomalies. Sex differentiation of the external genitalia occurs between the 7thand 17th weeks of gestation. The Y chromosome initiates male differentiation through the SRY gene, which triggers testicular development. Under the influence of androgens produced by the testes, external genitalia then develop into the penis and scrotum. Dorsal nerves supply penile skin sensation and lie within Buck's fascia. These nerves are notably absent at the 12 o'clock position. Perineal nerves supply skin sensation to the ventral shaft skin and frenulum. Cavernosal nerves lie within the corpora cavernosa and are responsible for sexual function. Paired cavernosal, dorsal, and bulbourethral arteries have extensive anastomotic connections. During erection, the cavernosal artery causes engorgement of the cavernosa, while the deep dorsal artery leads to glans enlargement. The majority of venous drainage occurs through a single, deep dorsal vein into which multiple emissary veins from the corpora and circumflex veins from the spongiosum drain. The corpora cavernosa and spongiosum are all made of spongy erectile tissue. Buck's fascia circumferentially envelops all three structures, splitting into two leaves ventrally at the spongiosum. The male urethra is composed of six parts: bladder neck, prostatic, membranous, bulbous, penile, and fossa navicularis. The urethra receives its blood supply from both proximal and distal directions.


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