A cohort of 100 patients underwent laparoscopy for 128 impalpable testes. They ranged in age from 2.7 to 19.3 years (median 10.8 years). There were no complications associated with laparoscopy. In 50% of the cases either blindending cord structures above the internal inguinal ring or intra-abdominal testes were identified; in the remainder, cord structures could be seen passing through the ring, indicating an intracanalicular testis. The impalpable testis was absent in 77% of patients with a contralateral scrotal testis. A seminoma was found in one 18.6-year-old patient with bilateral cryptorchidism. No intratubular germ cell neoplasia (carcinoma in situ) was proved. Germ cell hypoplasia or aplasia was demonstrated in 95% of cases with testicular parenchyma. We recommend laparoscopy as a safe procedure which leads to a diagnosis in patients with impalpable testes; the advent of laparoscopic procedure makes definitive treatment possible in about 50% of such cases.
Ugeskrift for Laeger, 1996, Vol 158, Issue 20, p. 2849-52