Multi-institutional study of testicular microlithiasis in childhood: A benign or premalignant condition?

Peter D. Furness*, Douglas A. Husmann, John W. Brock, George F. Steinhardt, Timothy P. Bukowski, Andrew L. Freedman, Richard I. Silver, Earl Y. Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Purpose: Testicular microlithiasis, a rare ultrasonographic diagnosis in children, has been shown to coexist in benign and malignant conditions. The natural history of incidentally discovered testicular microlithiasis has not been well defined in the pediatric population. The concern that testicular microlithiasis may be a premalignant condition has been raised. Reports indicate as much as a 45% association of germ cell tumors with testicular microlithiasis at the time of tumor diagnosis and there have been 4 cases of interval testicular tumor development associated with preexisting testicular microlithiasis. To address this issue we performed a multi-institutional study to evaluate children with incidentally diagnosed testicular microlithiasis. Materials and Methods: Data on 26 patients with a mean age of 12.3 years at presentation with incidentally discovered testicular microlithiasis were collected from 7 institutions. Presenting scrotal conditions were reviewed. Two children with a previous testicular malignancy were excluded from study. Results: Followup ranged from 1 month to 7 years (mean 27.6 months). Testicular biopsy and tumor marker (α-fetoprotein and β-human chorionic gonadotropin) determinations were performed in 9 and 15 patients, respectively. To date no testicular tumor has developed during clinical followup. Conclusions: Our multi-institutional study has not yet shown a trend toward the malignant degeneration of incidentally diagnosed testicular microlithiasis in children. However, we still advocate close surveillance of patients with testicular microlithiasis, such as yearly testicular ultrasound, physical examination, and judicious tumor marker determinations. We propose that a registry be started to follow prospectively patients with testicular microlithiasis to define its significance better.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1151-1154
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3 II
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • Calculi
  • Neoplasms
  • Testis
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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