We propose a review of the literature about innervation and physiology of the urethral sphincteric complex. Parasympathetic innervation of the pelvic viscera comes from ventral branches of the sacral nerves (S2-S4). The orthosympathetic component derives from superior hypogastric plexus and runs down the hypogastric nerves to form the right and left pelvic plexus together with the parasympathetic component. The pelvic plexus is situated inferolaterally with respect to the rectum and runs on the surface of the levator ani muscle down to the prostatic apex. The pelvic plexus gives innervation to the rectum, the bladder, the prostate and the urethral sphincteric complex. The pelvic muscular floor is innervated by the somatic component (pudendal nerve) derived from the sacral branches (S2-S4). Bladder neck and smooth muscle urethral sphincter innervation is given mostly by the orthosympathetic component. The rhabdosphincter innervation comes from the pudendal nerve and from the pelvic plexus; its role in the continence mechanism is probably to give steady tonic urethral compression. Levator ani muscle takes part in the sphincteric complex with its anteromedial pubococcygeal portion. It plays its role strengthening the sphincteric tone during increase of the abdominal pressure or during active quick stop cessation of the urinary stream.
|Translated title of the contribution||Physiology of the urethral sphincteric vesico-prostatic complex|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Archivio Italiano di Urologia e Andrologia|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2001|
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