Penile raphe
The course of the raphe from the scrotum to the tip of the penis
PrecursorUrogenital folds
Part ofPenis
Latinraphe penis
Anatomical terminology

The penile raphe is a visible line or ridge of tissue that runs on the ventral (urethral) side of the human penis beginning from the base of the shaft and ending in the prepuce between the penile frenulum.[1][2] The line is typically darker than the rest of the shaft skin, even though its shape and pigmentation may vary greatly among males.[1] The penile raphe is part of a broader line in the male reproductive organs, that runs from the anus through the perineum (perineal raphe) and continues to the scrotum and penis, collectively referred to as median raphe.[3][4] The penile raphe is homologous to the female labia minora.[5][6]

The line consists of a subcutaneous fibrous plate, which may vary in prominence and thickness in various areas of the genitals.[7] In the scrotum, the line is located over the internal scrotal septum that divides the two sides of the sac and is densely occupied by nerve fibers.[8] The raphe may become more prominent and darker when the scrotal sac tightens due to contractions. Behind the scrotum, it continues as the perineal raphe. The raphe results as a fusion of the urogenital folds during the embryonic development of the male fetus.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b Fahmy, Mohamed (2017). "Median Genital Raphe Anomalies". Congenital Anomalies of the Penis. pp. 103–114. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43310-3_16. ISBN 978-3-319-43309-7 – via ResearchGate.
  2. ^ Edington, G. H. (1907). "Some Malformations Of The Penis". The British Medical Journal. 2 (2438): 725–729. ISSN 0007-1447. JSTOR 20295897.
  3. ^ Mohan, Arvind; Ashton, Laura; Dalal, Milind (2014). "Deviation of the penoscrotal median raphe: Is it a normal finding or within the spectrum of hypospadias?". Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery. 47 (1): 92–94. doi:10.4103/0970-0358.129630. ISSN 0970-0358. PMC 4075225. PMID 24987211.
  4. ^ Syed, M. M. Aarif; Amatya, Bibush; Sitaula, Seema (2019). "Median raphe cyst of the penis: a case report and review of the literature". Journal of Medical Case Reports. 13 (1): 214. doi:10.1186/s13256-019-2133-5. ISSN 1752-1947. PMC 6626626. PMID 31301740.
  5. ^ Hodges, Frederick Mansfield S.; Denniston, George C.; Milos, Marilyn Fayre (2007). Male and Female Circumcision: Medical, Legal, and Ethical Considerations in Pediatric Practice. Springer US. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-58539-937-9. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  6. ^ Martin, Richard J.; Fanaroff, Avory A.; Walsh, Michele C. (2014). Fanaroff and Martin's Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine E-Book: Diseases of the Fetus and Infant. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 1522. ISBN 978-0-32329-537-6. Retrieved November 24, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Jin, Zhe Wu; Jin, Yu; Li, Xiang Wu; Murakami, Gen; Rodríguez-Vázquez, José Francisco; Wilting, Joerg (2016). "Perineal raphe with special reference to its extension to the anus: a histological study using human fetuses". Anatomy & Cell Biology. 49 (2): 116–124. doi:10.5115/acb.2016.49.2.116. ISSN 2093-3665. PMC 4927426. PMID 27382513.
  8. ^ Yucel, S.; Baskin, L. S. (2003). "The neuroanatomy of the human scrotum: surgical ramifications". BJU International. 91 (4): 393–397. doi:10.1046/j.1464-410x.2003.04087.x. ISSN 1464-4096. PMID 12603421. S2CID 29105511.