Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 298, Issue 3, pp 655–661 | Cite as

Extraparenchymal ovarian and testicular Leydig cells: ectopic/heterotopic or orthotopic?

  • José L. Carrasco-JuanEmail author
  • Hugo Álvarez-Argüelles-Cabrera
  • Carmen Martín-Corriente
  • Ricardo Gutiérrez-García
  • Abián Vega-Falcón
  • Idaira Expósito-Afonso
  • Rafael Méndez-Medina
  • Lucio Díaz-Flores
Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine



We are conducting a prospective study trying to determine, in both sexes, the frequency of appearance of ectopic Leydig cells, their preferred location, their relationship with nerve structures and the possible causes of their appearance.


We have studied 86 cases that were removed according to different clinical indications for pathological study: uterine leyomiomas (n = 12), ovarian cystadenoma (n = 4), endometrial hyperplasia (n = 8), endometrial carcinoma (n = 12), cervical carcinoma (n = 4), seminoma (n = 4), fallopian tube ligatures (n = 24), vasectomies (n = 8), nonspecific orchiepididymitis (n = 2), and unknown (n = 8).


We have observed ectopic Leydig cells in 13/86 cases (15.11%), 9/72 in the female samples (12.50%) and 4/14 in male samples (28.57%). The most frequent location was the mesosalpinx (4 of 13: 30.76%).


These high figures lead us to believe that the ectopia of Leydig cells is not really a pathologic entity, but a finding related to specific functions yet to be determined.


Leydig cells Extraparenchymal Ectopia Heterotopia Orthotopia 



The authors would like to thank Patrick Dennis for revising the English language in this manuscript. This work has been possible thanks to the existing research agreement between the University of La Laguna and the Clinical Laboratory Dr. Gonzalez Santiago (CI02020401).

Author contributions

JLC: project development, data collection, manuscript writing. HÁ: project development, data collection, manuscript writing. CM: project development, manuscript writing. RG: project development, manuscript writing. AV: project development, data collection. IE: project development, data collection. RM: project development, data collection. LD: project development, data collection, manuscript writing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The Institutional Ethics Committee of the University of La Laguna approved this study (CEIBA2018-0289).

Informed consent

Additional informed consent was not required since our standard hospital consent form for surgical or other procedure specifically states that “I understand that the Hospital may use for teaching or scientific purposes, or may otherwise dispose of, tissues, fluids or organs removed during the procedure”.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • José L. Carrasco-Juan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hugo Álvarez-Argüelles-Cabrera
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carmen Martín-Corriente
    • 2
  • Ricardo Gutiérrez-García
    • 1
  • Abián Vega-Falcón
    • 2
  • Idaira Expósito-Afonso
    • 2
  • Rafael Méndez-Medina
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lucio Díaz-Flores
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medicine SectionUniversity of La LagunaSan Cristóbal de La Laguna, TenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Service of PathologyCanary University Hospital ComplexTenerifeSpain

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