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Accurate referral of boys with suspected undescended testes (UDT) is of importance to preserve fertility and reduce risk of future testicular cancer. While late referral is well studied, there is less knowledge about incorrect referrals, hence, referral of boys with normal testes. To evaluate the proportion of UDT referrals that did not lead to surgery or follow-up, and to assess risk factors for referral of boys with normal testes. All UDT referrals to a tertiary center of pediatric surgery during 2019-2020 were retrospectively assessed. Only children with suspected UDT in the referral (not suspected retractile testicles) were included. Primary outcome was normal testes at examination by a pediatric urologist. Independent variables were age, season, region of residence, referring care unit, referrer's educational level, referrer's findings, and ultrasound result. Risk factors for not needing surgery/follow-up were assessed with logistic regression and presented as adjusted odds ratios with a 95% confidence interval (aOR, [95% CI]). A total of 378 out of 740 included boys (51.1%) had normal testes. Patients >4 years (aOR 0,53, 95% CI [0,30-0,94]), referrals from pediatric clinics (aOR 0.27, 95% CI [0.14-0.51]) or surgery clinics (aOR 0.06, 95% CI [0.01-0.38]) had lower risk of normal testes. Boys referred during spring (aOR 1.80, 95% CI [1.06-3.05]), by a non-specialist physician (aOR 1.58, 95% CI [1.01-2.48]) or referrer's description of bilateral UDT (aOR 2.34, 95% CI [1.58-3.45]), or retractile testes (aOR 6.99, 95% CI [3.61-13.55]) had higher risk of not needing surgery/follow-up. None of the referred boys that had normal testes had been re-admitted at the end of this study (October 2022). Over 50% of boys referred for UDT had normal testes. This is higher or equal to previous reports. Efforts to reduce this rate should in our setting probably be directed towards well-child centers and training in examination of testicles. The main limitation of this study is the retrospective design and the rather short follow-up time, which however should have very modest effect on the main findings. Over 50% of boys referred for UDT have normal testes. A national survey regarding the management and examination of boys testicles has been launched and directed at well-child centers to further evaluate the findings of the current study. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


Nilla Hallabro, Mette Hambraeus, Anna Börjesson, Martin Salö. Mapping of referral patterns for undescended testes - Risk factors for referral of children with normal testes. Journal of pediatric urology. 2023 Jun;19(3):320.e1-320.e10

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PMID: 36898865

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