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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Dec;97(12):4588-95. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-2325. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Boys with undescended testes: endocrine, volumetric and morphometric studies on testicular function before and after orchidopexy at nine months or three years of age.

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Department of Women's and Children's Health, Pediatric Surgery Unit, Karolinska Institutet and University Hospital, Q2:08, SE-17176 Stockholm, Sweden.



A randomized controlled study was conducted comparing the outcome of surgery for congenital cryptorchidism at 9 months or 3 yr of age.


The aim of the study was to investigate whether surgery at 9 months is more beneficial than at 3 yr and to identify early endocrine markers of importance for testicular development.


A total of 213 biopsies were taken at orchidopexy, and the number of germ and Sertoli cells per 100 seminiferous cord cross-sections and the surface area of seminiferous tubules and interstitial tissue were analyzed. Inhibin B, FSH, LH, and testosterone were determined. Testicular volume was assessed by ultrasonography and by a ruler.


The number of germ and Sertoli cells and testicular volume at 9 months were significantly larger than at 3 yr. The intraabdominal testes showed the largest germ cell depletion at 3 yr. At both ages, testicular volume correlated to the number of germ and Sertoli cells. None of the hormones measured during the first 6 months of life (LH, FSH, testosterone, and inhibin B) could predict the number of germ or Sertoli cells at either 9 or 36 months of age, nor could hormone levels predict whether spontaneous descent would occur or not.


Morphometric and volumetric data show that orchidopexy at 9 months is more beneficial for testicular development than an operation at 3 yr of age. Testicular volume was furthermore shown to reflect germ cell numbers in early childhood, whereas endocrine parameters could not predict cellular structure of the testis or its spontaneous descent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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