The spermatic cord refers to a collection of vessels, nerves and ducts the run to and also from the testes. They are surrounded through fascia, forming a cord-like structure.

You are watching: What structures compose the spermatic cord

This write-up will look at the anatomy of the spermatic cord – its anatomical course, contents, and also clinical correlations.

Anatomical Course

The anatomical course of the spermatic cord is reasonably short, start in the inferior abdomen and also ending in the scrotum.

The spermatic cord is created at the opening of the inguinal canal, recognized as the deep inguinal ring. This opening is located laterally to the worse epigastric vessels.

The cord passes with the inguinal canal, beginning the scrotum via the superficial inguinal ring. It proceeds into the scrotum, ending at the posterior border the the testes. Here, its materials disperse to it is provided the assorted structures of the testes and also scrotum.

by TeachMeSeries Ltd (2021)

Fig 1 – Anatomical course of the spermatic cord.

Fascial Coverings

The components of the spermatic cord are largely bound together by 3 fascial layers. They are all obtained from anterior abdominal muscle wall:

External spermatic fascia – derived native deep subcutaneous fascia (fascia innominata).Cremaster muscle and also fascia – obtained from the inner oblique muscle and also its fascial coverings.Internal spermatic fascia – acquired from the transversalis fascia.

The three fascial class themselves space covered by a great of superficial fascia, which lies directly listed below the scrotal skin.

The cremaster muscle forms the center layer the the spermatic cord fascia. The is a discontinuous layer of striated muscle that is orientated longitudinally.

through TeachMeSeries Ltd (2021)

Fig 2 – The cremaster muscle. Note the looping structure.

Clinical Relevance: Cremasteric Reflex

The cremasteric reflex can be stimulated by stroking the superior and also medial part of the thigh. This produces an prompt contraction the the cremaster muscle, elevating the testis on the side that has actually been stimulated.

This spinal reflex consists of two parts:

Afferent (sensory) limb – ilioinguinal nerve (innervates the skin that the superomedial thigh). Fibres native this nerve go into the spinal cord at L1.Efferent (motor) limb – genital branch that the genitofemoral nerve (innervates the cremaster muscle).


The spermatic cord conveys several essential structures that run to and from the testis.

Blood vessels:Testicular artery – branch the the aorta the arises just inferiorly to the renal arteries.Cremasteric artery and also vein – offers the cremasteric fascia and muscle.Artery come the vas deferens – branch that the inferior vesicle artery, which arises from the interior iliac.Pampiniform plexus that testicular veins – drains venous blood indigenous the testes right into the testicular vein.Nerves:Genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve – offers the cremaster muscle.Autonomic nervesOther structures:Vas deferens – the duct the transports sperm from the epididymis to the ampulla (a dilated terminal part of the duct), prepared for ejaculation.Processus vaginalis – projection of peritoneum that forms the pathway that descent for the testes during embryonic development. In the adult, the is unify shut.

Pampiniform Plexus

The pampiniform plexus is a network of veins, responsible because that the venous drainage of the testes. It has a distinct configuration, wrapping itself roughly the testicular artery

The testes function best in ~ a temperature just listed below that of the body. The pampiniform plexus acts as a heat exchanger, cooling the arterial blood before it reaches the testes. Together it travels v the inguinal canal, the pampiniform plexus condenses into a single testicular vein.

The best testicular vein drains right into the inferior vena cava and the left testicular vein drains right into the left renal vein. However, there are likewise some anastomotic branches that allow communication with other veins, such together the cremasteric, scrotal and also internal pudendal veins.

Vas Deferens

The vas deferens is a straight, special muscular tube the conveys sperm from the epididymis to the ampulla and also eventually, come the ejaculatory duct (formed by the convergence the the vas deferens and seminal vesicle duct). From the ejaculatory duct, sperm can pass v to the prostatic urethra.

The wall of the vas deferens is composed largely of smooth muscle, arranged in three muscle layers:

Inner LayerIntermediate Layer

Outer Layer

Longitudinal smooth muscleCircular smooth muscleLongitudinal smooth muscle

There is a rich autonomic innervation of these muscle fibres, i m sorry permits fast movement of sperm towards the ejaculatory duct. This motion is also facilitated by the within mucosal class of the vas deferens – i m sorry is lined by cells the possess microvilli. Their seaweed-like motion helps advancement spermatozoa through the spermatic tube.

The anatomical course of the vas deferens is as follows:

It is continuous with the tail of the epididymis.Travels v the inguinal canal, as part of the spermatic cord.Moves down the lateral pelvic wall surface close to the ischial spine.Turns medially come pass between the bladder and the ureter and then travels downward top top the posterior surface of the bladder.The worse narrow part of the ampulla joins the duct native the seminal vesicle to type the ejaculatory duct.

Fig 4 – Anatomical food of the vas deferens.

Clinical Relevance: Testicular Torsion

Testicular torsion is a surgical emergency, wherein the spermatic cord twists upon itself. This deserve to lead come strangulation of the testicular artery, leading to necrosis of the testis.

A common cause of testicular torsion is spasm that the cremasteric muscle fibres i beg your pardon then pressure the testicle come spin around its own cord. Specific anatomic conditions (e.g. A loose testicle in a large peritoneal sac – tunica vaginalis) may facilitate this movement.

Diagnosis can be confirmed via ultrasound and colour doppler scanning. The main clinical attribute of testicular torsion is severe, suddenly pain in the impacted testis which commonly lies greater (due to the torsion of the cord) in the scrotum.

See more: Ninety-Nine Percent Of All The Matter That Can Be Observed In The Universe Exists As

Testicular torsion is an absolute surgical emergency. A few hours delay can cause testicular necrosis.