In research into cryptorchidism, particular attention has always been paid to the germ cells. They were the most important parameter in assessing the quality of the tissue (Hedinger, 1971 ; Hecker, 1971 ; Bodensky and Regele, 1973; Jendricke et al., 1973). According to these authors, the number of spermatogonia per tubule in cryptorchid boys is almost the same as in the controls. These results would appear to indicate that the decrease in the number of spermatogonia is a secondary phenomenon, resulting from the unfavourable situation of the testicle. Many researchers, including Scorrer and Farrington (1971), Städtler and Hartmann (1972) and most recently Hedinger (1976) found that the number of spermatogonia in cryptorchid children at birth was already reduced in comparison to normal control testicles. In 1976, Hedinger repeated his studies on 619 biopsies from 415 boys from birth up to the age of ten, with unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism and established that already in the first two years the number of spermatogonia in the cryptorchid testicles was lower than in the testicles of normal control subjects. From the age of three, cell movement in the cryptorchid testicles remains at about the same low average level, while normal testicles from the same age-group show an increase in the number of spermatogonia. This is also, at least to some extent, demonstrable in the descended testicle in cases of unilateral cryptorchidism, with normal values being recorded only in some cases. In more than half the cases, however, there is a marked reduction in the values recorded, with a marked falling off after the age of six. Occasionally the figures may be as low as those in cryptorchid testicles (Hedinger, 1976).


Lipoid Droplet Sertoli Cell Leydig Cell Seminiferous Tubule Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin-Heidelberg 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faruk Hadžiselimović
    • 1
  1. 1.Basler KinderspitalBasleSwitzerland

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