Innervation of feline perineal musculature

William D. Martin, Thomas F Fletcher, William E. Bradley

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Innervation to muscles of the feline perineum was examined by gross dissection of the sacral nerve plexus and quantitation of efferent and afferent myelinated fibers in selected nerves derived from the plexus. In addition, distribution of muscle fiber sizes and muscle spindle content were determined for muscles innervated by the nerves studied. Efferent myelinated fiber populations were bimodal in nerves innervating muscles with many spindles and unimodal in nerves innervating muscles in which few or no spindles were observed. Coccygeus and levator ani muscles had similar numbers of muscle spindles, but the spindles were different in the two muscles based on afferent innervation. In both coccygeous and external anal sphincter muscles, primary spindle endings must be associated with relatively small afferent nerve fibers. The pelvic urethra received more large myelinated afferent fibers than the penis. The three divisions of the external anal sphincter muscle had three distinct populations of muscle fibers, based on size distribution. The homologous bulbospongiosus and constrictor vulvae muscles had different populations of muscle fibers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-29
Number of pages15
JournalThe Anatomical Record
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1974


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