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J Urol. 2008 Dec;180(6):2611-5; discussion 2615. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2008.08.054. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Infantile abdominoscrotal hydrocele: a not so benign condition.

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  • 1Pediatric Surgery Unit, Azienda Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.



Infantile abdominoscrotal hydrocele is a rarely described condition. We report the outcome of the largest single institution experience managing these lesions.


We retrospectively reviewed descriptive case series of all infants treated between January 1998 and December 2007. Postoperative followup ranged from 3 to 107 months (median 48).


A total of 18 consecutive patients underwent abdominoscrotal hydrocele repair at age 3 to 21 months (median 8). The first 13 patients underwent inguinal hydrocelectomy, which consisted of high ligation of the processus vaginalis and complete excision of the abdominal component of the lesion. The remaining 5 patients underwent plication of the tunica vaginalis accomplished through the scrotum. Included in this group were 2 patients initially treated expectantly because the lesion was without undue tension at diagnosis. Both cases demonstrated spontaneous resolution of the abdominal component of the lesion but ultimately required surgery for scrotal hydrocele. Overall 23 testes (5 bilateral lesions) were operated on, of which 18 had some degree of testicular dysmorphism detected by ultrasonography or during surgery and 15 fully recovered postoperatively. A total of 11 patients experienced 1 or more postoperative complications, including persistent scrotal swelling (7), hypoplastic testis (3), scrotal hematoma (2), inguinal hernia (1) and cryptorchidism (1). Morbidity related to scrotal hydrocelectomy was negligible. There were no recurrences of abdominoscrotal hydrocele in the series.


Tense infantile abdominoscrotal hydroceles are associated with a high rate of testicular dysmorphism, which is often reversed by early intervention. Simple transscrotal plication of the tunica vaginalis represents an effective procedure with decreased postoperative complications.

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