PANCE Blueprint Genitourinary (5%)

Cryptorchidism (ReelDx + Lecture)


Undescended testicles

2-week-old with empty scrotum

Patient will present as  a one-year-old child who is brought to your office for his 12-month visit. You note that the boy's testicles are inappreciable on the exam. The medical record reports that the child's testicles had been examined at two previous visits. The mother is concerned and asks if her son will need surgery.

To watch this and all of Joe Gilboy PA-C's video lessons you must be a member. Members can log in here or join now.

Cryptorchidism is the failure of testes to descend - undescended testicle - (one or both)

  • ↑ Risk in premature infants 30% vs. 5% in full-term infants
  • Cryptorchidism is most common in the right testicle
  • If not descended by 6 months and before he is 12 months old surgery (orchiopexy) should be performed.
  • Complications of undescended testes are testicular cancer (in both descended and undescended testes) or infertility (which occurs in up to 75% of male children with bilateral cryptorchidism and in 50% of male children with unilateral cryptorchidism.)

Thorough GU exam, including an attempt to "milk" inguinally located testes into the scrotum

  • If one or both testes are palpable in the scrotum or inguinal canal, re-examine at the next well-child exam
  • If neither testes are palpable at birth, obtain an ultrasound and karyotype promptly

Undescended testes can be monitored for spontaneous descent over the first 4-6 months of life

  • If still non-palpable at 4-6 mo well-child exam, refer to urology/surgery for evaluation and possible orchiopexy
  • For absent testes, strongly consider a consultation with a specialist regarding labs for CAH
  • Complications of undescended testes include malignancy, subfertility, and testicular torsion. Therefore, the American Urologic Association suggests that these patients should perform monthly testicular self-examinations during adolescence

Question 1
At what age is it necessary to perform orchiopexy in a child affected with cryptorchidism?
6-12 months
36-48 months
5 years
7 years
Orchiopexy is not necessary
Question 1 Explanation: 
Either one or both testes may be absent from the scrotum at birth in about one in five premature or low-birth-weight male infants and in 3% to 6% at full-term infants. Cryptorchidism is found in 1% to 2% of male children after 1 year of age but can be confused with retractile testes that is associated with a strong cremasteric reflex, which requires no treatment. Orchiopexy is recommended between 6m-12m of age to decrease the risk of torsion, testicular cancer and infertility which occurs in up to 75% of male children with bilateral cryptorchidism and in 50% of male children with unilateral cryptorchidism. It is not clear, however, whether such early orchiopexy improves ultimate fertility. Some patients have underlying hypogonadism. Cryptorchidism is also associated with testicular carcinoma mainly in the undescended testicle and particularly with intra-abdominal malposition; however, up to 10% of cancers can occur on the unaffected side.
There is 1 question to complete.
Shaded items are complete.

References: Merck Manual · UpToDate

Congenital and acquired abnormalities (PEARLS) (Prev Lesson)
(Next Lesson) Peyronie’s disease
Back to PANCE Blueprint Genitourinary (5%)

The Daily PANCE and PANRE

Get 60 days of PANCE and PANRE Multiple Choice Board Review Questions delivered daily to your inbox. It's 100% FREE and 100% Awesome!

You have Successfully Subscribed!