Prostatic carcinoma

Author: Komal Arora, M.D. and Kenneth Iczkowski, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 21 March 2016, last major update March 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Anatomy [title] prostate
Page views in 2018: 1,242
Page views in 2019 to date: 81
Cite this page: Anatomy. website. Accessed January 23rd, 2019.
Definition / general
  • 20g, funnel shaped, 4 x 3 x 2 cm
  • Within true pelvis between bladder neck (base of prostate) and urogenital diaphragm / levator ani muscle (apex of prostate)
  • Apex contains some muscle fibers from urogenital diaphragm
  • Seminal vesicles extend from posterior prostate to posterior surface of bladder
  • Ampulla of Vas (ductus) deferens and terminal seminal vesicle duct form ejaculatory duct, join prostatic utricle to open into prostatic urethra
  • Denonvillier's fascia (also called rectovesicle septum): thin layer of connective tissue that separates prostate and seminal vesicles from rectum
  • Prostatic urethra begins on superior surface, descends almost vertically, with continuous prostatic utricle extending to posterior prostatic wall, exits anteriorly
    • Divided into halves by sharp 35 degree angle midway, at site of verumontanum (bulge along posterior proximal urethra
    • Site of emptying of ejaculatory, central and transition zone ducts)
  • Peripheral zone ducts empty into distal urethra
  • Prostatic nervous plexus supplies prostate, seminal vesicles, corpus spongiosum, corpora cavernosum and urethra
  • Function: conduit for urine, adds nutritional secretions to sperm to form semen during ejaculation
Clinical features
  • Embryologic model: 5 lobes, 2 lateral plus posterior, middle, anterior lobes
  • Other model (not used): 2 lateral lobes, small median lobe (contains posterior lobe, forms floor of urethra)
  • Current model (McNeal): transitional, central, peripheral, periurethral zones (Prostate 1981;2:35)
    • Outer (cortical) zones are termed "peripheral" and "central"
    • Central is towards base
    • Inner (periurethral) zone is termed "transitional"
Diagrams / tables

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Seminal vesicles and ducts

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McNeal zones

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Sagittal view

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Axial views

Gross images

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Normal gland