Spectrum of Extratesticular and Testicular Pathologic Conditions at Scrotal MR Imaging

Radiographics. 2018 May-Jun;38(3):806-830. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018170150.


Diagnostic workup of scrotal lesions should begin with a complete clinical history and physical examination, including analysis of risk factors such as family history of testicular cancer, personal history of tumor in the contralateral testis, and cryptorchidism, followed by imaging. Scrotal ultrasonography (US) with a combination of gray-scale and color Doppler techniques has been the first-line imaging modality for evaluation of testicular and extratesticular lesions because of its low cost, wide availability, and high diagnostic accuracy. However, US has limitations related to operator dependence, the relatively small field of view, and lack of tissue characterization. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, because of its superior soft-tissue contrast and multiplanar capabilities, is increasingly being used as a supplemental diagnostic problem-solving tool in cases where scrotal US findings are inconclusive or nondiagnostic. In addition to morphology, lesion location, and tissue characterization (eg, fat, blood products, granulation tissue, and fibrosis), scrotal MR imaging provides important information that can affect surgical planning and improve patient care. MR imaging also is helpful for differentiating testicular and extratesticular lesions, distinguishing between benign and malignant lesions, and evaluating the local extent of disease. This review discusses the anatomy and MR imaging features of testicular and extratesticular neoplastic and nonneoplastic conditions and describes relevant MR imaging techniques. ©RSNA, 2018 Contact information that appeared in the print version of this article was updated in the online version on May 14, 2018.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Scrotum / diagnostic imaging*
  • Scrotum / pathology
  • Testicular Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Testicular Diseases / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology