JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The fate of undescended testes in patients with gastroschisis.

Cryptorchidism is frequently associated with gastroschisis, yet little is published on its management in such circumstances. In a review of 10 consecutive boys with gastroschisis since 1980, 4 had undescended testes. Gestational age and birth weight did not differ from the 6 boys with normally descended testes. The first two patients had associated arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. The first underwent bilateral orchidopexy at 9 years of age for inguinal testes. In the second patient, the left testis was intraabdominal at the level of the sigmoid colon at birth; at 3 months of age, when a left inguinal hernia repair was required, left groin exploration revealed the testis at the internal ring and orchidopexy was performed successfully. In the third patient the left spermatic vessels were divided at the time of gastroschisis repair and the testis anchored in the prebubic area. The second-stage orchidopexy was performed at 16 months. In the last patient the intraabdominal testis could be placed in a scrotal pouch without mobilisation or division of the vessels. From our experience and a review of the literature we conclude that: 1) undescended testes are frequently associated with gastroschisis; 2) mechanical factors rather than prematurity are likely responsible for this association; 3) if the testis easily reaches the scrotum, orchidopexy can be done safely at the time of gastroschisis repair; 4) if the testis does not reach easily and appears to have a gubernaculum, it may be preferable to leave it in place since spontaneous descent can occur.

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