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Electro-orchidogram: a non-invasive diagnostic tool in testicular pathologies.

BACKGROUND: We investigated the hypothesis that the transcutaneous electro-orchidogram (EOG) can act as a diagnostic tool in testicular pathological conditions.

MATERIAL/METHODS: Three electrodes were applied to the scrotal skin of 21 healthy volunteers (controls), 12 patients with acute epididymo-orchitis (EO), 8 with testicular torsion (TT), 10 with unilateral undescended testicle (UT), and 9 with testicular seminoma (TS). Recordings were performed before and 48 hours and 1, 3, and 6 months after treatment. Semen analysis was done 1, 3, and 6 months post-treatment.

RESULTS: Recordings from healthy volunteers showed slow waves (SWs) with similar wave variables from the three electrodes of the same individual. Patients with EO exhibited increased SW variables (p<0.05) during acute stage, which normalized in 8 and diminished in 4 patients 1, 3, and 6 months after inflammatory process resolution. Post resolution, the 8 patients had normospermia and the 4 oligospermia. In TT, SWs were absent during torsion and after detorsion in 7 patients; SWs and semen normalized in 1 patient 6 months after detorsion. The UT showed absent SWs up to 6 months post-descent; semen remained oligospermic. Testicles with TS exhibited areas with SWs and silent areas.

CONCLUSIONS: Testicles in the above pathological conditions showed electro-orchidographic changes associated with changes in semen character. Repeated EOG could demonstrate the progress of the pathological condition in the testicle. The non-invasive EOG may act as a diagnostic and follow-up tool in some testicular pathological conditions after further studies have been performed in this issue.

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