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J Urol. 1996 Jul;156(1):85-8.

Burned-out primary testicular cancer: sonographic and pathological characteristics.

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Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Rarely, a testicular scar is discovered in a patient with a presumed extragonadal germ cell tumor. Of 6 patients originally diagnosed with retroperitoneal extragonadal germ cell tumors who had echogenic foci on scrotal sonography 5 had definite histological evidence of a regressed primary testicular cancer.


Six men 21 to 36 years old presented with palpably normal testes and a presumed retroperitoneal extragonadal germ cell tumor. After chemotherapy each patient underwent retroperitoneal lymph node dissection and ipsilateral orchiectomy. The entire testis was submitted for histological evaluation and all calcifications were identified.


Scrotal sonography revealed an echogenic focus or foci in all cases, which corresponded to intratubular hematoxyphilic bodies in 2. In 3 cases the echogenic foci were intratubular psammoma bodies close to a fibrous scar with hemosiderin deposition, 1 of which contained a focus of intratubular germ cell neoplasia. The hematoxyphilic bodies appeared larger and more intensely echogenic on sonography than the psammoma bodies. The remaining case had stromal calcifications near the rete testis.


The hematoxyphilic bodies and fibrosis with hemosiderin deposits are believed to represent remnants of testicular carcinoma. Our finding of intratubular germ cell neoplasia provides further proof that testicular carcinomas regress. In 5 of 6 patients (83%) with presumed extragonadal germ cell tumors we showed definite pathological evidence of a burned-out testicular carcinoma. With a presumed retroperitoneal germ cell tumor and palpably normal testes, sonographic demonstration of an echogenic lesion in the absence of a hypoechoic mass probably represents a burned-out primary neoplasm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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