Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 1234
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
3b. 4. The Male Urethra
(Urethra Virilis)

The male urethra (Fig. 1142) extends from the internal urethral orifice in the urinary bladder to the external urethral orifice at the end of the penis. It presents a double curve in the ordinary relaxed state of the penis (Fig. 1137). Its length varies from 17.5 to 20 cm.; and it is divided into three portions, the prostatic, membranous, and cavernous, the structure and relations of which are essentially different. Except during the passage of the urine or semen, the greater part of the urethral canal is a mere transverse cleft or slit, with its upper and under surfaces in contact; at the external orifice the slit is vertical, in the membranous portion irregular or stellate, and in the prostatic portion somewhat arched.
  The prostatic portion (pars prostatica), the widest and most dilatable part of the canal, is about 3 cm. long, It runs almost vertically through the prostate from its base to its apex, lying nearer its anterior than its posterior surface; the form of the canal is spindle-shaped, being wider in the middle than at either extremity, and narrowest below, where it joins the membranous portion. A transverse section of the canal as it lies in the prostate is horse-shoe-shaped, with the convexity directed forward.

FIG. 1142– The male urethra laid open on its anterior (upper) surface. (See enlarged image)

  Upon the posterior wall or floor is a narrow longitudinal ridge, the urethral crest (verumontanum), formed by an elevation of the mucous membrane and its subjacent tissue. It is from 15 to 17 mm. in length, and about 3 mm. in height, and contains, according to Kobelt, muscular and erectile tissue. When distended, it may serve to prevent the passage of the semen backward into the bladder. On either side of the crest is a slightly depressed fossa, the prostatic sinus, the floor of which is perforated by numerous apertures, the orifices of the prostatic ducts from the lateral lobes of the prostate; the ducts of the middle lobe open behind the crest. At the forepart of the urethral crest, below its summit, is a median elevation, the colliculus seminalis, upon or within the margins of which are the orifices of the prostatic utricle and the slit-like openings of the ejaculatory ducts. The prostatic utricle (sinus pocularis) forms a cul-de-sac about 6 mm. long, which runs upward and backward in the substance of the prostate behind the middle lobe. Its walls are composed of fibrous tissue, muscular fibers, and mucous


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