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Late ascended testes : is non-orthotopic gubernacular insertion a confirmation of an alternative embryological etiology?

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Introduction : Re-ascended testes account for a proportion of all undescended testes (UDTs); one main hypothesis relating to their etiology relates to a patent processus vaginalis peritonei. The aim was to investigate gubernacular insertion points in boys with late ascended testis as a possible guide to an alternative embryological etiology. Patients and methods : Patients with proven ascended testes were recruited from four different pediatric urology centers between May 2016 and September 2017. All patients were evaluated regarding their gubernacular insertion during orchidopexy. The presence of accompanying patent processus vaginalis and the association between the epididymis and testis were also documented. Results : Seventy-seven children (mean age = 73.1 +/- 41.2 months [range 18-176]) were enrolled into the study. A non-orthotopic gubernacular insertion point was found in 96.1% (n = 74); 34.2% (n = 26) of these were located in the groin and 63.2% (n = 48), high within the scrotum. Figure A. An open processus vaginalis peritonei was found in 35.1%. Twelve patients (15.6%) had small, dysplastic appearing testis with testis-epididymis dissociation. Boys with a higher insertion of the non-orthotopic gubernaculum (n = 48, groin) were operated earlier (mean age at surgery, 62.3 months) compared with those with a gubernacular insertion at a high scrotal site (mean age at surgery, 90.5 months; p = 0.004). Figure B. Discussion : This study revealed that non-orthotopic gubernacular insertion is found in the vast majority of the ascending testis cases. Patent processus vaginalis was accompanying only 35.1% of all children and might be the cause of the ascending testis in this small subgroup of patients in line with the earlier reports [1]. In boys with ascending testes, in this population, the gubernaculum was very likely to insert non-orthotopically. In concordance with previous reports [2] and regarding the finding of a an earlier age at surgery in boys with higher inserting gubernacula, this could provide a logical explanation as to how these testes are initially palpable in the scrotum and then, during body growth are retracted to the groin. Conclusion : In 96.1% of the patients, a non-orthotopic gubernacular insertion was found. This points to embryologic etiology, complying well with earlier reports and further underlining the critical importance of timely diagnosis and treatment for this group of patients.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Pediatric Urology
ISSN: 1477-5131
Issue: 1
Volume: 15
Pagina's: 71.e1 - 71.e6
Jaar van publicatie:2019