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The Spermatic Cord (funiculus spermaticus) extends from the abdominal inguinal ring, where the structures of which it is composed converge, to the back part of the testis.
In the abdominal wall the cord passes obliquely along the inguinal canal, lying at first beneath the Obliquus internus, and upon the fascia transversalis; but nearer the pubis, it rests upon the inguinal and lacunar ligaments, having the aponeurosis of the Obliquus externus in front of it, and the inguinal falx behind it. It then escapes at the subcutaneous ring, and descends nearly vertically into the scrotum.
The left cord is rather longer than the right, consequently the left testis hangs somewhat lower than its fellow.
Structure of the Spermatic Cord.—The spermatic cord is composed of arteries, veins, lymphatics, nerves, and the excretory duct of the testis. These structures are connected together by areolar tissue, and invested by the layers brought down by the testis in its descent.
The arteries of the cord are: the internal and external spermatics; and the artery to the ductus deferens.
The internal spermatic artery, a branch of the abdominal aorta, escapes from the abdomen at the abdominal inguinal ring, and accompanies the other constituents of the spermatic cord along the inguinal canal and through the subcutaneous inguinal ring into the scrotum. It then descends to the testis, and, becoming tortuous, divides into several branches, two or three of which accompany the ductus deferens and supply the epididymis, anastomosing with the artery of the ductus deferens: the others supply the substance of the testis.
The external spermatic artery is a branch of the inferior epigastric artery. It accompanies the spermatic cord and supplies the coverings of the cord, anastomosing with the internal spermatic artery.
The artery of the ductus deferens, a branch of the superior vesical, is a long, slender vessel, which accompanies the ductus deferens, ramifying upon its coats, and anastomosing with the internal spermatic artery near the testis.
The spermatic veins emerge from the back of the testis, and receive tributaries from the epididymis: they unite and form a convoluted plexus, the plexus pampiniformis, which forms the chief mass of the cord; the vessels composing this plexus are very numerous, and ascend along the cord in front of the ductus deferens; below the subcutaneous inguinal ring they unite to form three or four veins, which pass along the inguinal canal, and, entering the abdomen through the abdominal inguinal ring, coalesce to form two veins. These again unite to form a single vein, which opens on the right side into the inferior vena cava, at an acute angle, and on the left side into the left renal vein, at a right angle.
The nerves are the spermatic plexus from the sympathetic, joined by filaments from the pelvic plexus which accompany the artery of the ductus deferens.