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Pediatr Surg Int. 2004 May;20(5):357-9. Epub 2004 Jun 24.

Hormonal cryptorchidism therapy: systematic review with metanalysis of randomized clinical trials.

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The importance of cryptorchidism treatment concerns the possibility of diminishing risk of malignant degeneration and improving fertility. Success rates of hormonal treatment vary: 0-55% with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and 9-78% with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Due to uncertainties regarding the effectiveness of this treatment, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on hormonal cryptorchidism treatment was done using the methodology of Cochrane Collaboration. Two studies compared hCG with GnRH, with a testicular descent rate of 25% vs. 18%, respectively. Nine trials compared intranasal LHRH with placebo, with complete testicular descent rates of 19% vs. 5%. Two other studies comparing doses and administration intervals could not be pooled together due to heterogeneity. With the information analyzed until the present, the evidence for the use of hCG vs. GnRH shows advantages for hCG, and this review also shows that there is evidence that luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) is more effective than placebo. But because this evidence is based on few trials, with small sample sizes and moderated risk of bias, this treatment cannot be recommended for everyone, and there is no evidence that supports hCG's use in larger doses and larger intervals. Results from this systematic review are important for developing better RCTs that may decrease the uncertainty of cryptorchidism treatment.

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