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in man and certain animals (horses, dogs), a developmental defect in which during intrauterine development a testis fails to descend to its normal position in the scrotum.

The formation of spermatozoa in an undescended testis may be diminished or absent. In man, unilateral cryptorchidism is usually caused by intra-abdominal adhesions, shortening of the ductus deferens, underdevelopment of the internal spermatic artery, or narrowness of the inguinal canal. Bilateral cryptorchidism is usually associated with disturbances of hormonal balance, insufficiency of gonadotropic hormones, or hereditary biological factors. Cryptorchidism is classified as abdominal or inguinal, according to whether the testis is retained in the abdomen or in the inguinal canal. Often the testis descends into the scrotum by the age of ten or 12. Hence, cryptorchidism is observed in only 0.3 percent of adults but in 2–3 percent of children and prepubescents.

Cryptorchidism is treated in children by hormone therapy (pituitary gonadotropic hormone and androgens), accelerating testicular development. Surgery is indicated if this treatment proves unsuccessful.


References in periodicals archive ?
The histological type observed in patients with undescended testicle is seminoma (43-90%) and yolk sac tumor, teratocarcinoma and choriocarcinoma (10-57%) have also been reported (3, 6).
An undescended testicle was detected in 16% of men with atopic disease and specific IgE antibodies to inhaled allergens, 14% of those with specific IgE antibodies but no atopic disease, and 9% of controls.
Any boy with an undescended testicle requires medical evaluation.
The main known risk factor is an undescended or partially undescended testicle (normally, the testes descend soon after birth).
When asked why the surgery had been necessary, she replied that he had required a short procedure when he was 18 months old to correct an undescended testicle.
ble and we ething to "He said he'd also had an undescended testicle - which started me thinking whether could have affected his fertility.
Q How usual is an undescended testicle in baby boys?
The risk is also higher if you had an undescended testicle as a child.
It is possible the undescended testicle was dealt with during the hernia op but you need to make sure.
Veterinary surgeons nearly always advise castration, removing both the descended and undescended testicle, so as to avoid tumour development as well as the other reasons I have mentioned.