What is the pampiniform plexus? Where is it located? What are the functions?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The pampiniform plexus is a loose connection of small veins situated within the male spermatic cord.
The pampiniform plexus starts in the scrotum with veins arising from the mediastinum testis. Mediastinum testis is an area of connective tissue at the back of the testis. The veins of the plexus proceeds along the spermatic cord at the front of the ductus deferens.
Functions of the pampiniform plexus
The pampiniform plexus is a temperature regulator to the testes. It helps regulate the temperature of the testes. It acts as a “heat exchange” mechanism to cool down the blood.
Anatomy of the pampiniform plexus
The arteries supplying the testes run through the plexus. On getting to the plexus, the blood is cooled from abdominal arterial temperature to testicular temperature.
The anterior (front) section of the plexus comes together to form the internal spermatic vein. This passes through the inguinal canal (at the side of the groin area) and ascends into the retroperitoneum (a space in the abdominal cavity). The walls of the plexus veins house a complex muscle structure. The structure propels blood flow (against gravity) towards the left renal vein.
Male infertility or testicular pain may often be associated with a varicocele. varococele is an abnormal distension or enlargement of the pampiniform plexus. Varicoceles are caused by retrograde (reversed) blood flow or impaired drainage of the testicular or internal spermatic vein. Varicoceles are the most common, treatable cause of male infertility.