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J Urol. 1994 Jan;151(1):227-33.

Fertility after cryptorchidism: a comparative analysis of early orchidopexy with and without concomitant hormonal therapy in the young male rat.

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Division of Urologic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


Infertility is common in patients with a history of bilateral cryptorchidism, even after successful prepubertal orchidopexy. Recent data suggest that this defect may be partially due to the existence of hormonal abnormalities in some forms of cryptorchidism. To analyze any potential benefit of hormonal therapy, we have evaluated the immediate and long-term effects of chronic hormonal therapy administered following surgical correction of cryptorchidism. First, using young male rats, we examined the effects of chronic human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist (LHRH-A), alone or combined, on acute pituitary-gonadal axis responsiveness to LHRH administration. High doses of HCG and/or LHRH-A induced deleterious effects on the pituitary-testicular axis in terms of suppression of response to LHRH. Therefore, treatment with a low dose of HCG (50 U/kg/day) for 14 days was used, since it produced a significant increase in intratesticular testosterone (ITT). Second, we tested this hormonal regimen in a cryptorchid rat model. Bilateral cryptorchidism was produced by gubernaculum resection at 14 days of age. Early orchidopexy was performed at age 30 days, and HCG therapy was given from 31 to 44 days of age. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone (T) levels were determined before and immediately after hormonal therapy, and at sacrifice. Animals were sacrificed at 61 days of age for determination of serum and testicular hormone levels, accessory sex organ weights and testis histology. Five or six animals from each group were retained for breeding studies at the age of 90 days. Hormonal alterations noted immediately following treatment of cryptorchid animals with HCG are not lasting. The data reveal that the fertility defect in bilateral cryptorchidism is partially prevented by early orchidopexy and that adjunctive hormonal therapy is probably of little additional benefit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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