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Urol Int. 2008;81(3):316-9. doi: 10.1159/000151411. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

Ectopic adrenal cortex tissue: an incidental finding during inguinoscrotal operations in pediatric patients.

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Department of Urology, CHU Habib Bourguiba, Sfax, Tunisia.



The aim of the present study was to assess the occurrence of ectopic remnants of adrenal cortex tissue encountered in pediatric patients who underwent groin surgical explorations.


We studied 1,862 patients with groin surgical explorations during a period of 12 consecutive years (1995-2006). Nodules resembling ectopic adrenal tissue were removed and the histopathological examination was performed using hematoxylin and eosin staining.


We found ectopic adrenal cortex tissue along the spermatic cord in 31 patients in 1,862 groin surgical explorations, an overall incidence of 1.66%. None were found in females. Of the 31 cases, 20 were diagnosed as having undescended testes, 8 communicating hydrocele, and 3 inguinal hernia. Median age at diagnosis was 6.5 years (range 2-14). The nodules were found located along the spermatic cord, in the apex of the hernial sac, and between the testis and epididymis. Macroscopically, the nodules were round to oval in shape, 2-6 mm in diameter, and bright yellow to orange in color. Microscopically, they had three well-defined layers of adrenal cortex, with predominance of the zona fasciculata, surrounded by a fibrous capsule and none contained any medulla.


Ectopic adrenal cortical tissue is a benign lesion. Although a routine search for this lesion is not indicated, it should be resected for histological analysis and differential diagnosis when it is found during a surgical procedure in this area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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