Abnormalities of the vas deferens and epididymis in cryptorchid boys with congenital rubella

J Pediatr Surg. 1979 Dec;14(6):834-8. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(79)80276-6.


Cryptorchidism was present in 12% of 316 boys with congenital rubella (CR) followed by The Roosevelt Hospital Rubella Project. Eight of these patients, age 4 through 16 yr, had a recent orchiopexy, 4 on the left, 2 on the right, and 2 bilaterally. The vasoepididymal system was absent or apparently obstructed in 60% of the 10 sides. The epididymis was abnormal in 6 instances and the vas deferens in 5. Sixty-one boys of the entire series had an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) that was significantly abnormal in 18%. The 8 patients described all had a normal IVP except for 2 who had a malrotated kidney on the involved side. In 5 of the 8, a known maternal rubella infection has occurred during the first 8 wk of gestation. As the rubella virus is known to interfere with cellular growth and tissue differentiation in early pregnancy, it apparently altered the developing testis and mesonephric duct system. Similar vasoepididymal abnormalities have been described previously in patients with uncomplicated cryptorchidism, inguinal hernia, kidney defects, cystic fibrosis and male sterility. Their presence should alert the clinician to perform an IVP and also consider a diagnosis of congenital rubella.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cryptorchidism / complications*
  • Epididymis / abnormalities*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious
  • Rubella / congenital*
  • Vas Deferens / abnormalities*