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J Urol. 1999 Sep;162(3 Pt 2):998-1002.

A new management algorithm for impalpable undescended testis with gadolinium enhanced magnetic resonance angiography.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Chinese University of Hong Kong.



We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of preoperative localization of impalpable undescended testis using ultrasound and gadolinium (Gd) enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).


Ultrasound and Gd-MRA were performed prospectively in 21 boys (23 impalpable testes) with cryptorchidism before laparoscopy and surgical exploration. Gd-MRA was done using a 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance scanner with a turbo field echo technique after bolus intravenous injection of 0.4 mmol./kg. body weight of Gd diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid. A total of 10 dynamic scans were acquired during 15 minutes after Gd injection to cover the early arterial and delayed venous phases. All patients subsequently underwent diagnostic laparoscopy and definitive surgery.


Ultrasound correctly localized 9 of 10 intracanalicular testes but failed to reveal any intra-abdominal or vanishing testes. In contrast, Gd-MRA correctly localized 4 intra-abdominal, all 10 intracanalicular and 8 canalicular vanishing testes. In 1 patient with an intra-abdominal vanishing testis ultrasound and Gd-MRA failed to make the diagnosis. When correlated with the findings of subsequent laparoscopy and surgical exploration, Gd-MRA had a diagnostic sensitivity of 96% and a specificity of 100% for localizing impalpable undescended testes. Based on Gd-MRA and ultrasound findings laparoscopy could have been avoided in 18 of 23 cases (78%). No adverse effect was associated with Gd use in this study.


Gd-MRA accurately diagnoses vanishing testes and reliably differentiates intraabdominal from intracanalicular impalpable testes, allowing definite preoperative planning of the surgical approach and avoiding unnecessary laparoscopy. A new management algorithm for impalpable testis in patients with cryptorchidism is proposed based on ultrasound and Gd-MRA findings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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