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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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Failure of one or both testes to descend.
Synonym(s): cryptorchism
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


(krĭp-tôr′kĭ-dĭz′əm) also


A developmental defect marked by the failure of the testes to descend into the scrotum.

crypt·or′chid n.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Undescended testicles A condition in which one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen, where they develop before birth, into the scrotum; cryptorchidism uncorrected in early childhood is linked to azoospermia and ↑ testicular CA. Cf Anorchia.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Failure of one or both testes to descend.
Synonym(s): cryptorchidism.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


Cryptorchism, undescended testicle. The testicles develop in the abdomen and a testicle that fails to descend before puberty remains permanently sterile. Such a testicle is also liable to develop cancer.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


Occurs when a boy is born with one or both testicles in the lower abdomen rather than the scrotum. Known also as undescended testicles, it is the primary risk factor for testicular cancer.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the present study, only 24% of children referred for phimosis and 36% for cryptorchidism were ultimately scheduled for surgical intervention.
Recently, early orchiopexy has been recommended, if and whenever possible, in order to prevent damage to the germ cells in patients with cryptorchidism. Previously, it was estimated that the incidence of testicular cancer in PMDS was not higher than that in cases with cryptorchidism and that the incidence was around 18% (11).
One in 600 males has bilateral undescended testes, representing 10 to 25% of patients with cryptorchidism. The finding of bilateral nonpalpable testes however represents a special situation that may warrant further investigations to rule out intersex abnormalities which may have life-threatening implications in the neonatal period, especially associated with severe hypospadias.
Male patients with partial hypogonadotropic hypogonadism can present with micropenis, cryptorchidism, stalled pubertal progression, or hypogonadism with normal testicular volume (Fertile Eunuch Syndrome) [5].
His medical history was marked by a neonatal hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and pulmonary valve stenosis (which needed balloon dilatation procedures and surgery), a transcatheter closure of an atrial septal defect, an orchidopexy for right cryptorchidism, a right renal malrotation, a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy for eating disorders during 4 years, a slight delay of language, a cystic lymphatic malformation of the right chest wall, and finally, a short stature which required a growth hormone treatment for a sustainable growth.
Finding a tender, consistent mass with displaced testis in conjunction with an empty hemiscrotum in a patient with no history of orchiectomy or cryptorchidism helps to diagnose this condition [3].
Clinical features of NS include consequence of lymphatic obstruction/dysfunction during development, short webbing of the neck and prominence of the trapezius, cryptorchidism, widely spaced nipples, low set and posteriorly angulated ears, hypertelorism, downward slanting of palpebral fissures, and ptosis.
He was born to uneventfull pregnancy at term.His motor milestones were proper with his age.His parents were consanguineous.On physical examination, he had microcephaly, mild dysmorphic features like hypertelorism, retrognatia and antevert ears, unilateral bifid thumb, cryptorchidism and hypopigmented macule.He had additionally ectopic right kidney and secundum ASD.On complete blood count there were mild anemia, thrombocytopenia and neutropenia.HbF and AFP was elevated.Normal cellularity and morphology was shown on bone marrow examination.Chromosomal instability test with MMC was performed and found as positive.
Congenital Spigelian hernias and cryptorchidism. J Pediatr Surg 2006; 41:1814-1817.
Cryptorchidism, Klinefelter syndrome, and strong family are the predisposing risk factors in the development of testicular germ cell tumors (GCTs).