The lining of the urethra is variable. Most of the distal two-thirds of the urethra is lined by squamous epithelium, but is regularly interrupted by foci of pseudostratified columnar epithelium. The upper one-third shows transitional epithelium similar to that seen elsewhere in the urinary tract. The epithelium overlies a loose lamina propria, which contains mucinous glands and many thin-walled veins. Beneath this layer, there are inner longitudinal and outer circular layers of smooth muscle. Distally, a sphincter of skeletal muscle surrounds the layers of smooth muscle.

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