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When to ask for an MRI of the scrotum.

Andrology 2021 September
BACKGROUND: Multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) of the scrotum has been established as a useful second-line diagnostic tool for the investigation of scrotal diseases. Recently, recommendations on clinical indications for scrotal MRI were issued by the Scrotal and Penile Imaging Working Group of the European Society of Urogenital Radiology.

OBJECTIVE: To update current research on when to ask for an MRI of the scrotum.

METHODS: PubMed database was searched for original articles and reviews published during 2010-2021.

RESULTS: Eighty-three articles fulfilled the search criteria. Scrotal MRI is mainly recommended after inconclusive US findings or inconsistent with the clinical examination and should be asked in the following cases: differentiation between intratesticular and paratesticular lesions (in rare cases of uncertain US findings), characterization of paratesticular and intratesticular lesions (when US findings are indeterminate), discrimination between germ cell and sex cord-stromal testicular tumors, local staging of testicular malignancies (in patients planned for testis-sparing surgery), differentiation between seminomas and non-seminomatous tumors (when immediate chemotherapy is planned and orchiectomy is delayed), assessment of acute scrotum and scrotal trauma (rarely needed, in cases of non-diagnostic US findings) and detection and localization of undescended testes (in cases of inconlusive US findings). Although preliminary data show promising results in the evaluation of male infertility, no established role for mpMRI still exists.

CONCLUSION: Multiparametric MRI of the scrotum, by assessing morphologic and functional data represents a valuable problem-solving tool, helping to improve our understanding on the nature of scrotal pathology and the process of spermatogenesis. The technique may improve patient care and reduce the number of unnecessary surgical procedures.

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