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Prostatic venous plexus

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 02 Jul 2020

The prostatic venous plexus (also known as Santorini's plexus) is a network of veins around the anterolateral aspect of the prostate and anterior to the bladder. Tributaries include:

  • deep dorsal vein of the penis
  • anterior vesical rami
  • prostatic rami

The receipt of blood from the vesical and prostatic rami connect the prostatic plexus to the vesical plexus and internal pudendal vein. The prostatic plexus then drains into the vesical and internal iliac veins.1

Related pathology

By draining to the iliac veins, prostate tumor cells are able to reach the vertebral venous plexus of the spine (via Batson's plexus) leading to metastatic tumor deposits in the vertebrae.  This occurs due to the retrograde flow of blood through valveless veins, especially under transient conditions of increased intra-abdominal pressure, such as when straining to urinate 2.

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