Bilateral undescended testes classified according to preoperative and postoperative status of gonadotropins and inhibin B in relation to testicular histopathology at bilateral orchiopexy in infant boys.J Urol. 2012 Oct; 188(4 Suppl):1436-42.JU
In recent series of boys with cryptorchidism gonadotropin levels have been higher and serum inhibin B levels have been lower than normal. To some extent the serum values of inhibin B reflect the state of germinative epithelium in cryptorchid testes. We evaluated whether blood samples of gonadotropins and inhibin B as well as histopathology could be used to classify undescended testes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A total of 69 boys (median age 2 years) who underwent surgery for bilateral cryptorchidism had blood samples taken preoperatively and 3 months to 2.1 years postoperatively. Testicular biopsies were performed bilaterally at orchiopexy. The average germ cell number per tubular transverse tubule was measured.
Group 1 included 17 patients with increased follicle-stimulating hormone levels. Serum follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone decreased significantly after surgery. In 77% of patients (13 of 17) follicle-stimulating hormone levels were normalized. Of these boys 35% (6 of 17) had a low postoperative serum inhibin B. Group 2 consisted of 27 patients with a decreased germ cell number and/or low preoperative inhibin B, but not increased serum follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinizing hormone. There were no significant postoperative changes in follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. Of these boys 22% (6 of 27) had a low serum inhibin B postoperatively. In group 3 there were 25 patients with a normal germ cell number, normal preoperative serum inhibin B and normal gonadotropins. There were no significant changes in luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone postoperatively. Only 1 boy in this group had a low postoperative serum inhibin B.
Patients with increased gonadotropin levels may have testicular dysgenesis and some may benefit from early surgery. Patients with normal gonadotropin levels and a decreased germ cell number have transient hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal hypofunction and a poor fertility prognosis. These patients may benefit from gonadotropin treatment after orchiopexy. Patients with normal gonadotropins, inhibin B and germ cell number have a good fertility prognosis after surgery.