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Use of ultrasound for the palpable undescended testis.

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eMediNexus    20 December 2017

A new study published in Family Practice aimed to determine the proportion of boys referred for suspected undescended testis who had accompanying ultrasound (US); the cost of this practice; and the accuracy of US for testis localization when compared to physical examination by a pediatric urologist. In this retrospective chart review at a pediatric urology service, all patients referred for suspected undescended testis from 2008 to 2012 were included; of which 894 eligible patients were identified. The findings revealed that 32% of these patients were accompanied by US. Among these, in 77% the urologist was able to palpate the testis – 51% had normal or retractile testis and 26% had palpable undescended testis. Overall, 20,547.90 CAD (Canadian dollars) were spent in ultrasounds. In addition, among patients with palpable testes, a detailed US and physical examination results could be extracted only for 214 patients. Furthermore, US exhibited 92.8% sensitivity and 15.2% specificity for the detection of an undescended testis. Thus, it was inferred that referral of patients for suspected undescended testis should not be accompanied by an US study since US is not useful in such cases.

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