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      Erythropoietin May Reduce the Risk of Germ Cell Loss in Boys with Cryptorchidism

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      Hormone Research in Paediatrics

      S. Karger AG

      Cryptorchidism, Spermatogonia, Erythropoietin

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          Abstract

          Purpose: In boys with cryptorchidism older than 2 years a testicular biopsy at time of orchiopexy shows lack of germ cells in 10–40% of the cases. The number of spermatogonia per tubule is prognostic for subsequent fertility potential. A biopsy without germ cells is associated with 33–100% risk of infertility. In order to increase the number of germ cells, and thereby the fertility potential, additional hormonal therapy has been attempted before surgery. In a study, small doses of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue buserelin before orchiopexy caused higher values. Others have found that hormonal treatment with human chorionic gonadotropin or gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue may harm the germ cells in cryptorchidism. The aim of the study is to demonstrate that additional hormonal therapy with erythropoietin has a positive effect on the number of germ cells. Materials and Methods: Erythropoietin (Eprex) 100 IU/kg were administered subcutaneously weekly for 3 months prior to surgery in two cryptorchid boys, 6 months old and 1 year 9 months old, respectively, with renal function impairment. Results: The number of spermatogonia per tubular cross-section in testicular biopsies was unusually high in both erythropoietin- treated cryptorchid cases compared to the control material of biopsies from the undescended testes of 698 cryptorchid patients and compared to the normal values. Conclusion: There are several hypothetic mechanisms that can explain the elevated number of spermatogonia seen in our erythropoietin treated cryptorchid patients. Erythropoietin may have a positive effect on germ cell proliferation in cryptorchidism.

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          Cryptorchidism: Aspects of Fertility and Neoplasms

          Purpose: An attempt to make a rational strategy for treatment of cryptorchidism. Materials and Methods: 1,335 cryptorchid boys with biopsy at surgery (1,638 specimens). We studied: frequency of no germ cells in biopsies from 698 patients <12 years at surgery; fertility potential of 140 patients who were now adults, and apperance of testicular neoplasia in all biopsies. Results: Lack of germ cells appeared from 18 months. The frequency increased with increasing age. It appeared in 30% (61/202) bilateral, and 18% (88/496) unilateral cases. In men who had undergone bilateral or unilateral orchiopexy, respectively, there was normal sperm count in 19% (14/75) and 83% (54/65), and infertility was suspected in 56% (42/75) and 8% (5/65) (FE, p < 0.00005, p < 0.00005), respectively. The lowest, the mean, and the highest age-matched spermatogonia count per tubule at orchiopexy was associated with sperm count (Spearman test, p < 0.0001, p < 0.005, p < 0.05). Isolated, this was demonstrated for the 75 formerly bilateral (Spearman, p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001), but not the 65 formerly unilateral cases (Spearman, p = 1.0). No germ cells at orchiopexy was associated with suspected infertility. Risk was 78–100% in bilateral (dependent on one or both testes affected), and 33% in unilateral cryptorchidism. There was one invasive germ cell tumor, six cases of carcinoma in situ testis, and one Sertoli cell tumor. Three neoplasms were diagnosed in intra-abdominal testes, four in boys with abnormal external genitalia, and two in boys with known abnormal karyotype. Risk of neoplasia was 5% (7/150) in patients with intra-abdominal testis, abnormal external genitalia or diagnosed abnormal karyotype, versus 0% (0/1,185) in patients without these characteristics (FE, p < 0.00005). Conclusion: We recommend surgery for cryptorchidism before 15–18 months of age because: (a) lack of germ cells is very rare before, and (b) lack of germ cells is associated with subsequent risk of infertility. At primary surgery for cryptorchidism, we recommend examination for testicular neoplasia in cases of intra-abdominal testis, abnormal external genitalia or known abnormal karyotype.
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            TESTICULAR CALCIFICATIONS

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              Author and article information

              Journal
              HRE
              Horm Res Paediatr
              10.1159/issn.1663-2818
              Hormone Research in Paediatrics
              S. Karger AG
              978-3-8055-7270-5
              978-3-318-00743-5
              1663-2818
              1663-2826
              2001
              2001
              22 June 2001
              : 55
              : 1
              : 41-45
              Affiliations
              Departments of Paediatric Surgery and Pathology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
              Article
              49963 Horm Res 2001;55:41–45
              10.1159/000049963
              11423742
              © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

              Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

              Page count
              Figures: 6, References: 20, Pages: 5
              Categories
              Original Paper

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