Pathology > Study Images > Male Genitals > Penis > Anatomy & Histology
Objectives Anat & Hist Congenital Infectious Benign Malignant

I. Gross Anatomy and Histology

Objectives

After reviewing this section you will be able to:

  • list and identify the various parts of the penis
  • describe the gross anatomy and histology of the penis

  1. Anatomy

The penis and scrotum form the male external genitalia. The penis consists of a shaft (body or corpus), with an expanded acorn-like end called the glans, and the root. The glans has a rounded proximal border called the corona that is attached to the body by the neck (which forms a sulcus or groove). The shaft has a dorsal (antero-superior) surface and a ventral (urethral or inferior) surface, which faces the scrotum. The penis contains erectile tissue, three parallel cylindrical bodies containing spongy connective tissue with vascular sinuses. Fibrous capsules, the tunica albuginea, surround each of these and fuse to hold them together. Superficial to the tunica is an outer sheath of connective tissue, the penile fascia. Two of these bodies, called the corpora cavernosa, are on the dorsal aspect of the organ and the third, the corpus spongiosum, is on the ventral side and contains the urethra. The corpus spongiosum is expanded at its distal end to form the glans, which covers the distal ends of the corpora cavernosa. On the tip of the glans is the slit-like orifice of the urethra, the external urethral meatus.


A cross section through a portion of the penis showing the penile urethra within the body of the corpus spongiosum. The corpora cavernosa are seen to the right of the urethra (the two islands). The erectile tissue contains blood spaces and is surrounded by a band of connective tissue, part of the tunica albuginea. The skin is to the left.


A cross section through a portion of the penis showing the penile urethra within the body of the corpus spongiosum. The erectile tissue contains blood spaces and is surrounded by a band of connective tissue, part of the tunica albuginea.

The shaft is covered by thin, hairless and very mobile skin, which doubles back over itself over the glans to attach to its neck to form a retractable hood called the prepuce or foreskin. The skin over the glans is much thinner, semitransparent, firmly bound to the tunica albuginea and, over the lips of the urethral meatus is continuous with the urethral mucosa. The skin on the ventral surface has a midline raphe continuous with the scrotal raphe.

The proximal end of the corpus spongiosum is lightly expanded and forms the bulb while the ends of the two cavernosa diverge to form the crura. The bulb and crura form the root of the penis.

Question: Which lymph node groups drain the penis?

Objectives Anat & Hist Congenital Infectious Benign Malignant