Tunica vaginalis (testis)

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 02 Sep 2020

The tunica vaginalis (TV) represents the investing serosal covering of the testis. It forms as the embryological testis descends and passes out through the superficial inguinal ring carrying its abdominal peritoneal covering with it.

The tunica vaginalis is said to consist of two layers, the parietal and visceral laminae, although in truth, they form one seamless sheet. The visceral layer covers the tunica albuginea of the testis, whilst the parietal level is reflected onto the scrotum, covering its inner surface. 

The tunica vaginalis secretes a trace quantity of a lubricant into the cavity of the tunica vaginalis, which is usually a potential space only, permitting the testis to move freely within its scrotum. Pathologically, it is this space that distends with fluid to form a hydrocele.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: testes and spermatic cord (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 2: testes and epididymis (Gray's illustration)
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