Background: In some recent materials of blood samples from boys with cryptorchidism gonadotropins are higher and serum inhibin-B lower than normal. Inhibin-B is produced by the Sertoli-cells and to some extent serum values of inhibin-B reflect the state of germinative epithelium in cryptorchid testes. In boys with bilateral vanished testes the serum inhibin-B level is close to zero.
Objectives and hypotheses: Aim of study was to evaluate the serum inhibin-B level in a large series of boys with unilateral cryptorchidism and compare with unilateral vanished testis.
Methods: 236 blood samples from boys ¼ to 5 years were included. 171 blood samples were taken at time of orchiopexy from boys with unilateral cryptorchidism. 23 boys had unilateral vanished testis and 42 blood samples were taken from boys median 1 year after orchiopexy for unilateral cryptorchidism. Median ages of the groups were 15, 18 and 25 months. Serum inhibin-B levels were measured using a commercial available inhibin-B ELISA kit. Lower detection-limit: 5 pg/ml. The inhibin-B levels were related to age matched normal values.
Results: In boys previously operated for unilateral cryptorchidism 88 and 40% of cases respectively had inhibin-B values above normal 2.5 and 50(median) percentiles. This was significantly higher (P<0.0002) than in unilateral cases at time of orchiopexy where 12% only had inhibin-B values above normal 50 (median) percentile. Serum inhibin-B values of boys with unilateral vanished testis (83 and 22% had serum values above normal 2.5 and 50 (median) percentiles) were not different from the serum values of unilateral cases with cryptorchidism at time of orchiopexy (78 and 12% had serum values above normal 2.5 and 50 (median) percentiles) (P=0.88 and P=0.35 respectively).
Conclusion: As reflected by the serum inhibin-B values the germinative epithelium and Sertoli-cells have some ability of recovering after surgery for cryptorchidism. The low serum inhibin-B values in unilateral vanished testis cases may be explained by the impaired total number of Sertoli-cells.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology