Testicular Seminoma and Its Mimics: From the Radiologic Pathology Archives

Radiographics. 2017 Jul-Aug;37(4):1085-1098. doi: 10.1148/rg.2017160164. Epub 2017 Jun 2.


Testicular seminoma is the most common malignant tumor of the testis. It classically manifests as a painless mass. Radiologic evaluation with high-frequency ultrasonography (US) is critical for diagnosis. Seminomas are usually homogeneously hypoechoic masses at US. In challenging cases, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging may help confirm that a mass is intratesticular and provide data for local staging. Computed tomography (CT) provides valuable information for staging, including the presence and size of retroperitoneal lymph nodes. Testicular seminoma is treated with radical inguinal orchiectomy and is highly curable even at advanced stages of disease. Several neoplastic and nonneoplastic conditions may mimic testicular seminoma at imaging. Benign mimics include segmental infarction, hematoma, infection, epidermoid cyst, adrenal rests, sarcoidosis, splenogonadal fusion, and sex cord-stromal tumors. Malignant mimics include nonseminomatous germ cell tumors, lymphoma, and metastases. These conditions are individually reviewed with emphasis on features that allow differentiation from seminoma. Spermatocytic tumor, formerly known as spermatocytic seminoma, accounts for only 1% of testicular tumors. It is distinct from classic seminoma, with unique histologic, molecular, and genetic features. It affects an older patient population than classic seminoma and demonstrates indolent clinical behavior. Radiologists serve a key role in diagnosis, staging, and surveillance of patients with seminoma. A thorough knowledge of related clinical, radiologic, and pathologic findings will help the radiologist contribute to high-quality interdisciplinary care of affected patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seminoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Seminoma / pathology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology*