Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

244 
CAUSE OP ERECTION. 
sum, by means of galvanism, in a livings horse. Hence they would 
seem not to be muscular.* 
The principal exciting cause of the erection of the penis is, as is 
well known, nervous irritation, originating in the part itself or derived 
from the brain and spinal marrow. Congestion of the brain and 
spinal cord has the same effect, and it is from this cause that the 
above-mentioned phenomena are sometimes produced in persons 
hanged. The nervous influence is communicated to the penis by the 
pudic nerves which ramify in its vascular tissue. Guenther has 
observed that, after division of these nerves in the horse, the penis is 
no longer capable of erection.t The stallion on which the experi¬ 
ment was performed was led to a mare; he showed desire to cover, 
but no erection of the penis took place. On the following day the 
penis was swollen, but not in a state of erection. More recently 
Guentherf; has repeated this experiment, and with a similar result as 
to the effect on the penis; but the horse did not, as in the former in¬ 
stance, show any sexual desire when led to a mare after the opera¬ 
tion. 
My discovery of the remarkable structure of the arteries of the 
corpora cavernosa penis throws new light on the phenomena of 
erection. The arteries of the corpora cavernosa have two sets of 
branches. When the arteria corporis cavernosi is injected with 
size and vermilion, the injected matter always fills the venous cells; 
and if it is afterwards washed from them, the arteriæ helicinæ will 
be seen injected.§ They come off from the side of the arteries, and 
consist of short tendril-like branches, terminating abruptly by a 
rounded, apparently closed, extremity, turned back somewhat on 
itself. The means by which during life they are enabled to force 
blood into the cells, must be an increased attraction excited between 
their coats and the blood by the nervous influence transmitted to 
them from the spinal cord, in consequence of which an increased 
quantity of blood flows to them. This discovery throws new light, 
at the same time, upon the mutual action of the blood and smaller 
vessels in other parts, and upon the phenomenon of active turges¬ 
cence, or turgor vitalis. [| The blood is returned from the corpora 
cavernosa partly by small veins, running at the sides and on the sur¬ 
face of these bodies into the vena dorsalis, partly by deeper veins 
which issue from the corpora cavernosa at their root, and enter im¬ 
mediately the venous plexus, situated behind the symphisis pubis. 
The fact, then, that the vena dorsalis does not return the blood from 
* Müller’s Archiv. 1834, p. 50; 1835, p. 26. 
f Meckel’s Archiv. 1828, p. 364. 
X Untersuch und Erfahr, im Gebiete der Anat. Physiol, und Thier-arzneikunde. 
Abstracts are given in Müller’s Archiv. 1838, p. clxiii. and in Valentin’s Reperto¬ 
rium, 1838. 
§ Prof. Valentin (Müller’s Archiv. 1838. p. 182) denies the existence of the 
arteriæ helicinæ; he supposes erection to be in a great measure due to the active 
dilatation of the veins by muscular fibres, attached to tendinous tissue between the 
anastomosing veins; but the characters on which he founds his belief that the fibres 
in question are muscular, are not conclusive. 
J) Müller’s Archiv. 1834, p. 202, tab. xiii.
        

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