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Dermoid cyst of the testis: a study of five postpubertal cases, including a pilomatrixoma-like variant, with evidence supporting its separate classification from mature testicular teratoma.

It is controversial if the rare dermoid cyst of the testis should be classified as a variant of mature teratoma or separately. The spectrum of findings is also ill defined, as is the relationship of dermoid cyst to intratubular germ cell neoplasia of the unclassified type (IGCNU). This study therefore reports the findings in five testicular dermoid cysts that occurred in five patients, 17-42 years of age, who presented with testicular masses. Four lesions consisted of a keratin-filled cyst with a thickened wall, whereas one had islands of "shadow" squamous epithelial cells with superimposed calcification and ossification (pilomatrixoma-like variant). Hair was identified grossly in two cases. On microscopic examination, four tumors had hair follicles with sebaceous glands showing a typical, cutaneous-type orientation to an epidermal surface, although no hair shafts were present in two. In addition, the fibrous wall contained smooth muscle bundles (all tumors) and eccrine or apocrine sweat glands (4 tumors). In some cases there were also glands lined by ciliated epithelium (4 tumors, including the pilomatrixoma-like variant), intestinal mucosa (1 tumor), and bone (2 tumors). There was no cytologic atypia or apparent mitotic activity, and no case had IGCNU in the seminiferous tubules. All patients were clinical stage I and were treated by orchiectomy without adjuvant therapy. All were well on follow-up from 1.5 to 9.5 years later. This study supports that dermoid cyst may have noncutaneous teratomatous elements and that an important criterion for its diagnosis is the absence of IGCNU. It also supports that it should be categorized separately from mature testicular teratoma because of the malignant nature of the latter in postpubertal patients. These observations suggest that there are at least two pathways for testicular teratomas in postpubertal patients: the more common being through IGCNU by differentiation from an invasive malignant germ cell tumor and the less common one, taken by dermoid cyst, by direct transformation from a nonmalignant germ cell.

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