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Scand J Urol Nephrol. 1988;22(4):245-50.

Ultrasound in the evaluation of retractile and truly undescended testes.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Oslo, Akershus Central Hospital, Nordbyhagen, Norway.


The aim of this study was to evaluate ultrasound and clinical examination in the assessment of the exact position of an undescended testicle, and to see whether ultrasound could help discern retractile and truly undescended testicles. One hundred and twenty-three undescended testicles were examined. Of 113 detectable testicles 47 were assessed retractile and 66 truly undescended of which 60 were operated. Ultrasound had a sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 100% for testicles positioned distally to the internal ring. The results of clinical examination by a urologist was poor, especially for testicles located in the inguinal canal. Bilateral symptoms were most common in the retractile group. Retractile testicles dominated at the age group 6-8 years and were most commonly found in the intermediate and external ring positions. Truly undescended testicles preferred the inguinal canal and a subcutaneous everted position. Differences are statistically significant. A discrimination analysis between retractility and true maldescent was performed based on whether symptoms were uni- or bilateral, patient's age and the position of the testicle. The most dominant factor was whether symptoms were uni- or bilateral.

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