Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 365–370 | Cite as

Anatomy and histology of the scrotal ligament in adults: inconsistency and variability of the gubernaculum testis

  • G. Cavalie
  • Alexandre BellierEmail author
  • G. Marnas
  • B. Boisson
  • Y. Robert
  • P. Y. Rabattu
  • P. Chaffanjon
Original Article



The anatomy of gubernaculum testis (GT) is often discussed; however, the postnatal anatomy of the GT or scrotal ligament (SL) is rarely described. Hence, we performed an anatomical and histological study to analyze histologically the structures between testis and scrotum.


We performed anatomical dissections on 25 human fresh cadavers’ testes. Each testis was removed with its envelopes and macroscopically analyzed. Then samples were included for histological study. Finally, they were analyzed under microscope, looking for attachments between testis, epididymis and scrotal envelopes.


The absence of proximal and distal attachment was found in 56.0% of cases. Looking at the proximal attachment of the SL, the main one found is the epididymal attachment (28.0%), whereas no cases of testis attachment was found. Distally, there are more variations with scrotal attachment (12%) and cremaster attachment (12.0%). We found a significant prevalence of multiple adherences in 16.0% of cases too. Finally, in 15 cases (57.7%) an attachment is present between testis and epididymis, as it is commonly described.


In the majority of cases there is no attachment of the lower pole of the testis and epididymis and these structures remain free. So it seems that the SL disappears with aging. Moreover, there is not only one kind of ligamentous attachment, but a high variability of attachments at the lower pole of the testiculo-epididymal structure. When it exists, this structure is never a real ligament and it seems more appropriate to use the term “attachments”.


Gubernaculum testis Cryptorchidism Scrotal ligament Vaginalis Spermatic cord torsion 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Anatomie Des Alpes Françaises (LADAF)UFR de médecine de Grenoble, Université Grenoble AlpesLa Tronche CedexFrance
  2. 2.Département d’Anatomie et de Cytologie Pathologique, Institut de Biologie et de PathologieCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de GrenobleGrenoble Cedex 09France
  3. 3.GIPSA-Lab-Dpt. Parole et CognitionUMR 5216Saint Martin d’Hères CedexFrance

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