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Ductus Deferens
Urogenital System

Ductus Deferens

Ductus deferens

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Quick Facts

Location: Scrotum, spermatic cord, and pelvis.

Arterial Supply: Artery to ductus deferens.

Venous Drainage: Pelvic venous plexus.

Innervation: Autonomic: Autonomic: Inferior hypogastric plexus.

Lymphatic Drainage: External and internal iliac lymph nodes.

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Structure/Morphology

The ductus deferens is a tube-like structure derived from the mesonephric duct. It is approximately 30 cm long and is lined by multiple layers of smooth muscle (Standring, 2016). There are four parts of the ductus deferens, including the scrotal, funicular, inguinal, and pelvic part.

Anatomical Relations

Within the spermatic cord, the ductus deferens lies posteriorly and parallel to the vessels. It runs through the superficial inguinal ring, inguinal canal, and deep inguinal ring to enter the pelvis. Within the pelvis, the ductus deferens passes superolaterally over the bladder to merge with the seminal vesicles, posterior to the bladder, culminating at the ejaculatory duct.

Function

The ductus deferens transports sperm from the epididymis to the ejaculatory ducts, which opens into the prostatic urethra in males.

During ejaculation, the smooth muscle lining the ductus deferens contracts and sperm is transported via peristalsis towards the urethra. Along the way, seminal fluid from the seminal vesicles, and fluid from the prostate and bulbourethral glands join the sperm. Collectively, these fluids are known as semen.

Arterial Supply

The ductus deferens is supplied by the artery to ductus deferens, a branch of the umbilical artery. Additionally, it may be supplied by the inferior vesical artery.

Venous Drainage

The ductus deferens is drained by veins from the ductus deferens and seminal vesicles into the inferior vesicle plexus.

Innervation

The ductus deferens is supplied by mostly preganglionic sympathetic fibers derived from the inferior hypogastric plexus.

Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic drainage of the ductus deferens is via the external and internal iliac lymph nodes.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Vasectomy

References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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