Conjoint corpora cavernosa and its role in erection

Arch Androl. Nov-Dec 2005;51(6):425-30. doi: 10.1080/014850190953276.


The two penile corpora cavernosa (CC) remain as separate structures along the penile shaft. During our study of 28 cadavers, we came across three cadavers in which the two CCs were fused together forming a single tubular structure; this article discusses these three cadaveric specimens. The cadavers were aged 52, 36, and 12 years. After penile degloving, the dorsal groove on the penile shaft was absent. In two of the cadavers, multiple transverse cut-sections in the penile shaft showed that the two CCs were united into one single tubular structure that extended from the symphysis pubis to the glans penis. The cut section was kidney-shaped, with the corpus spongiosum lying under cover of the concave surface. No intercavernosal septum was identified. The transverse cut-section of the third cadaveric specimen revealed an incomplete fusion of the two CCs. An intercavernosal septum was present in its upper part, but absent in its lower part where the two CCs were fused together. In all three cadaveric specimens, the CCs showed a normal histologic pattern and the corpus spongiosum was morphologically normal. Based on biomechanical principles, we theorize that the blood volume occupying the two CCs would be greater, the penile rigidity stronger, and the penetration force more powerful in the two separate CCs as normal than in the two CCs if fused. However, further studies involving large number of cases are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autopsy
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Erection / physiology*
  • Penis / abnormalities*
  • Penis / pathology