Long-Term Follow-Up of Testicular Microlithiasis in Children and Adolescents: Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study of the Italian Society of Pediatric Urology

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Abstract

Introduction

Testicular microlithiasis (TM), characterized by the presence of intratubular calcifications in a single or both the gonads, is an uncommon entity with unknown etiology and outcome in pediatric and adolescent age. In this study, the results of a multicenter long-term survey are presented.

Materials and Methods

From 11 units of pediatric urology/surgery, patients with TM were identified and yearly, followed up in a 7-year period, adopting a specific database. The recorded items were: age at diagnosis, presenting symptoms/associated abnormalities, ultrasonographic finding, surgery and histology at biopsy, if performed.

Results

Out of 85 patients, 81 were evaluated yearly (4 patients lost to follow-up). TM was bilateral in 66.6% of the patients. Associate genital abnormalities were present in 90%, more frequently undescended/retractile testis (23.4%) and varicocele (22.2%). TM remained unchanged at 4.7 years follow-up in 77 patients (93.8%) and was reduced in 4 patients after 1 to 5 years of inguinoscrotal surgery. Orchiectomy was performed in three patients (3.7%), one for severe testicular hypoplasia and two for seminoma (2.5%), respectively, concurrent and metachronous to diagnosis of TM. Tumorectomy with parenchymal sparing surgery was performed in a teratoma associated with TM.

Conclusion

TM is a controversial entity, often associated with several inguinogenital features, which rarely can recover. Testicular malignancy, although present in TM, has not proven definitively associated to microliths. Proper counseling, yearly ultrasound, and self-examination are long-term recommended.

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