Intratubular germ cell neoplasia (ITGCN) is a precursor to testicular germ cell cancer. Adult germ cell cancer immunohistochemical markers may fail to detect ITGCN in prepubertal boys with congenital cryptorchidism, because positive immunohistochemistry is commonly seen in boys younger than the age of 2 years, where most orchiopexies are performed. The aim of the study was to evaluate the diagnostic challenge to differentiate between a histological pattern of ITGCN and a histological pattern with some atypical germ cells and all positive cancer immunohistochemical markers, but no increased risk of malignancy.Materials and Methods
Histology sections from 373 testicular biopsies from 289 boys aged 1 month to 2 years operated for cryptorchidism were incubated with primary antibodies including anti-placental-like-alkaline phosphatase, antiOct-3/4, anti-C-kit, anti-D2-40, and in case of repeat biopsy with anti-stem cell factor (SCF) receptor.Results
The prevalence of Oct-3/4 and D2-40-positive staining of germ cells in testicular biopsies were in age groups less than 6 months, 100% and 50%; 6-12 months, 60% and 17%; and 1-2 years, 12% and 4%. A 1 year, 1-month-old boy with Prader-Willi syndrome treated with growth hormone had ITGCN in both cryptorchid testes. In another three bilateral nonsyndromic cases, 8 months, 8 months and 1-year-old, a histological pattern in accordance with ITGCN was found. These three boys had a repeat biopsy from both testes performed at the age of 3 years, 4 months, 3.5 years, and 3 years, 10months, respectively. In all cases, the Oct-3/4 and D2-40 positive germ cells turned negative and the histological pattern normalized completely. The primary biopsies had SCF negative germ cells.Conclusion
This study is valuable in identifying the age-related change in Oct-3/4 or D2-40 immunopositive germ cells in seminiferous tubules. An ITGCN-like histological pattern in nonsyndromic cryptorchidism will vanish after the age of 3 years. Even when immunohistochemistry is applied, prepubertal ITGCN is so rarely demonstrated in cryptorchid testes, that it is not plausible that ITGCN generally originates during fetal development in cryptorchidism.