Embryology And Zonal Anatomy

The prostate begins to develop at approximately 8 weeks from the pelvic urethra. Epithelial outgrowths continue to grow with accompanying lumenal development. This is further modified by the effects of androgens and stromal-epithelial growth factor interactions.1,2 The prostate is an ovoid structure of fibromuscular and glandular components. It encases the urethra, which angulates at its midpoint toward the bladder neck. The gland is covered by a 0.5 mm capsule of smooth muscle and connective tissue. Benign glandular elements may travel through its thickness. The zonal anatomy described by

McNeal3-5 does not exactly correspond to the clinical impression of two lateral lobes separated by a central sulcus, but provides greater understanding of pertinent surgical findings when one considers that the morphology of the adult gland is in great part the result of the distortions caused by hypertrophy of the transition zone tissue. It is also useful to realize that the anterior fibromuscular stroma includes the preprostatic sphincter and the detrusor apron, and not just the fibrous anterior sheath particular to the prostate.4,5

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