Surgical treatment of unilaterally undescended testes: testicular growth after randomization to orchiopexy at age 9 months or 3 years

J Urol. 2007 Oct;178(4 Pt 2):1589-93; discussion 1593. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2007.03.173. Epub 2007 Aug 16.


Purpose: We compared the growth of congenital, unilaterally undescended testes following orchiopexy at age 9 months or 3 years.

Materials and methods: Patients were randomized to surgery at age 9 months (72) or 3 years (83). Testicular volume was measured by ultrasonography at ages 6, 12, 24, 39 and 48 months.

Results: Orchiopexy at age 9 months resulted in an increase in testicular volume at subsequent measurements at ages 2, 3 and 4 years compared to the volume at 6 months (p <0.001). In contrast, no significant growth was noted in the group treated at age 3 years. The improved testicular growth after early orchiopexy was also demonstrated by a gradual increase in the ratio of the previously retained testis and the scrotal testis in individual boys from 6 months to 4 years (0.68 to 0.81, p <0.001). For the late treatment group a significant decrease in this ratio was noted during the same period (0.68 to 0.56, p <0.01).

Conclusions: Surgical treatment at 9 months resulted in partial catch-up of testicular growth until at least age 4 years compared to surgery at 3 years, clearly indicating that early surgery has a beneficial effect on testicular growth. Since testicular volume is an approximate indirect measure of spermatogenic activity, this gives hope that orchiopexy at this age may improve future spermatogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cryptorchidism / diagnostic imaging
  • Cryptorchidism / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infertility, Male / prevention & control
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Testis / diagnostic imaging
  • Testis / growth & development*
  • Testis / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography