Hormonal treatment may harm the germ cells in 1 to 3-year-old boys with cryptorchidism

J Urol. 2000 Apr;163(4):1290-2.


Purpose: Hormonal treatment with human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) or gonadotropin releasing hormone may be given initially for cryptorchidism. We evaluated whether hormonal treatment is safe for the germ cells in boys with cryptorchidism 1 to 3 years old in whom follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and testosterone values are normally low.

Materials and methods: We measured the number of spermatogonia per tubule at orchiopexy in 72 consecutive boys with cryptorchidism who underwent simultaneous testicular biopsy. In 19 patients gonadotropin releasing hormone was unsuccessful, while 8 received HCG and 45 underwent orchiopexy without hormonal therapy. Groups were otherwise equal.

Results: Patients who underwent surgery only had a higher number of spermatogonia per tubule than those in whom hormonal treatment was unsuccessful (p<0.05). Spermatogonia per tubule values were normal only after surgery alone (p = 0.06). Gonadotropin releasing hormone and HCG influenced germ cells equally.

Conclusions: In 1 to 3-year-old boys with cryptorchidism gonadotropin releasing hormone or HCG given for testicular descent may suppress the number of germ cells.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / adverse effects*
  • Cryptorchidism / drug therapy*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Spermatogonia / drug effects*


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone