The distribution of elastic fibrous elements within the human penis

Br J Urol. 1994 May;73(5):566-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410x.1994.tb07645.x.


Objective: To determine the distribution of elastic fibres in the tunica albuginea and the erectile tissue of the penis.

Materials and methods: Samples of tunica albuginea or penile erectile tissue were taken from seven cadavers and five patients undergoing surgery. Light and electron microscopy were performed.

Results: There were two anatomical regions in which elastic fibres were seen rarely: the proximal crus and the distal tunica. In the rest of the corpora cavernosa where the tunica was more compliant, the elastic fibres were in relative abundance. In the corpus spongiosum, abundant irregularly oriented elastic fibres were present; the densest elastic network was found in the glans penis and was composed of coarse elastic fibres. A perisinusoidal fibroelastic shell was seen in the glans, which was probably an extension of Buck's fascia. The elastic components within the sinusoids (cavernosal, spongiosal, and glanular) were similar but finer than the elastic lamellae in the penile arterial wall.

Conclusion: The elastic fibres were unevenly distributed, often forming an irregular network on which the collagen component rested. Elastic fibres were more abundant in the corpus spongiosum, around the blood vessels and surrounding the sinusoid of the corpus cavernosum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Collagen / analysis
  • Collagen / ultrastructure
  • Elastic Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Elastic Tissue / chemistry
  • Elastic Tissue / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Penis / anatomy & histology*
  • Penis / chemistry
  • Penis / ultrastructure


  • Collagen