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failure of one or both of the testes to descend into the scrotum. As the unborn male child develops, the testes first appear in the abdomen at about the level of the kidneys. They develop at this site, and in approximately the seventh month of fetal life start to descend to the upper part of the groin. From there they move into the inguinal canal and then, normally, into the scrotum. In its descent, a testis may sometimes be halted in the abdomen or within the canal, becoming an undescended testis. An improperly developed testis may never leave the abdomen, and it may not produce the hormones that induce secondary sex characters. A testis lodged in the canal may well produce these secondary sex characters, but cannot produce spermatozoa. Cases in which both testes fail to descend are uncommon; usually only one is involved and the other produces sufficient numbers of spermatozoa.
Treatment. Often the undescended testis can be brought down into the scrotum by medical treatment with the gonadotropic hormone, and for physical and psychologic reasons this method is preferred. Frequently, however, surgery (called orchiopexy) is required. This operation is not particularly serious and is usually successful. It is best performed before the patient is 5 to 7 years old, since operating at a later age may involve more risk to the cells that produce spermatozoa.
 In cryptorchidism, the testis is not in the scrotum, but may be found in the inguinal canal or in the abdominal cavity. From Damjanov, 2000.


Failure of one or both testes to descend.
Synonym(s): cryptorchism


/cryp·tor·chism/ (krip-tor´kizm) cryptorchidism.


Failure of one or both testes to descend.
Synonym(s): cryptorchidism.


References in periodicals archive ?
Splenogonadal fusion may be associated with other congenital anomalies such as testicular maldescent and cryptorchism, inguinoscortal hernia (due to the inguinal closure defect produced by the fibrous cord)[7], peromelia, micrognathia, hypoglossia, palatine defects, polymicrogyria, craniosynostosis, spina bifida, cardiac defects, diaphragmatic hernia, hypoplastic lung and anorectal abnormalities, abnormal fissures of lung and liver, hypospadias.
Athough exceptional, germ tumors associated to splenogonadal fusion have been reported in three patients, all of them with a history of associated cryptorchism.
A Norwegian agricultural study reported increased rates for central nervous system anomalies, cryptorchism, hypospadias, urinary system anomalies, and limb reduction in association with grain agriculture and pesticide purchase or grain agriculture and use of spray equipment (Kristensen et al.