Stromal Elements

The stromal elements of the prostate include the fibro-muscular tissue that intervenes between the epithelial elements and the capsule. In the early midtrimester, the stroma of the fetal prostate gland has an immature appearance composed of spindle-shaped cells without much smooth muscle differentiation and the capsule is an ill-defined connective tissue layer. Skeletal muscle bands are often seen in the anterior prostate (see Figs 13-1 And 13-15). As gestation progresses, the stroma develops a more eosinophilic appearance as some of the stromal cells acquire the cytoplasmic properties of smooth muscle, with numerous spindle-shaped cells with a fibroblastic phenotype intermixed (see Figs. 1311, 13-13, 13-16, and 13-20). Near term, the capsule is also thicker and a more well-defined connective tissue layer (see Figs. 13-15 And 13-18).

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