JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Epididymal anomalies associated with hydrocele/hernia and cryptorchidism: implications regarding testicular descent.

Journal of Urology 1992 August
Controversy exists regarding the role of the epididymis in testicular descent, as epididymal abnormalities have been reported in 36 to 79% of boys with an undescended testis. Although most undescended testes are associated with a patent processus vaginalis, the incidence of epididymal abnormalities in descended testes with a patent processus has not been reported. Epididymal morphology was examined in 81 boys with a hydrocele/hernia without cryptorchidism (90 testes) and 100 children undergoing orchiopexy (115 testes). Boys with an intra-abdominal undescended testis were excluded. Among 48 boys with a hydrocele/hernia 24 (50%) had an epididymal abnormality if the processus was patent and communicated with the testis (complete hernia), compared to 4 of 42 patients (10%) if there was not a communication with the testis (p less than 0.01). Among the 96 children with an undescended testis 68 (71%) had an epididymal abnormality if there was a patent processus, compared to 3 of 19 boys (16%) without a patent processus (p less than 0.01). These data suggest that most epididymal abnormalities probably do not contribute to testicular maldescent.

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