We have examined the anatomy of the pelvic (inferior hypogastric) plexus in six male cadavers, paying particular attention to gross anatomical landmarks that might aid in locating it and have Used immunohistochemistry to study the small branches of the plexus that supply the prostate gland. The pelvic plexus was found two finger breadths lateral to the third anterior sacral foramina, lying deep to a line drawn from third sacral vertebra, the conventional level of the recto-sigmoid junction, and the palpable posterior superior surface of the pubic symphysis. Immunohistochemical staining showed small nerve branches from the pelvic plexus entering the prostate gland and the presence of ganglia within the prostate gland that contained both tyrosine hydroxylase positive and negative neuronal cell bodies. This information may be useful in nerve-sparing surgical procedures and in discussions of the functional implications of perturbations of prostate innervation.
- Autonomic nervous system
- Inferior hypogastric plexus