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The spermatic cord arises at the deep inguinal ring, passes through the inguinal canal and exits at the superficial inguinal ring into the scrotum 3. In the scrotum, the spermatic cord terminates at the posteromedial border of the testis 1,2.
The fascial layers of the anterior abdominal wall all contribute to the coverings of the spermatic cord, explained by the descent of the testes 'dragging' the layers of the anterior abdominal wall into the scrotum. Thus there are three layers of the spermatic cord (from outermost to innermost):
- external spermatic fascia (arising from the external oblique aponeurosis)
- cremaster fascia which contains the cremaster muscle (arising from the internal oblique muscle and aponeurosis)
- internal spermatic fascia (arising from the transversalis fascia) 1,2
- ductus deferens
- artery of the ductus deferens, arising from the superior vesical artery
- testicular artery, arising from the abdominal aorta
- cremasteric artery, arising from the inferior epigastric artery
- pampiniform plexus draining into the testicular vein
- genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve
A useful mnemonic to remember the contents of the spermatic cord can be found here.
The ilioinguinal nerve runs anterior to the spermatic cord.
- patent processus vaginalis
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- 3. Moore KL, Dalley AF. Anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (1999) ISBN:0683061410. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 4. FIPAT. Terminologia Anatomica. 2nd ed. Federative International Programme for Anatomical Terminology, 2019. FIPAT.library.dal.ca