The following is a summary of “Reproductive Markers of Testicular Function and Size During Puberty in Boys With and Without a History of Cryptorchidism,” published in the December 2022 issue of Endocrinology & Metabolism by Rodprasert, et al.

There needed to be more longitudinal data on hormone levels in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) during puberty in males with a history of cryptorchidism. For a study, researchers sought to compare pubertal hormone levels between boys with a history of congenital cryptorchidism who had orchiopexy or experienced spontaneous testicular descent with boys without a history of cryptorchidism.

It was a nested case-control study inside a population-based birth cohort with prospective, longitudinal pubertal follow-up every 6 months (2005 to 2019). 109 Finnish boys participated, including controls (n = 63), boys with a history of unilateral cryptorchidism who underwent orchiopexy (n = 15), unilateral cryptorchidism who experienced spontaneous testicular descent (n = 15), bilateral cryptorchidism who underwent orchiopexy (n = 9), bilateral cryptorchidism who experienced spontaneous testicular descent (n = 7), and unilateral cryptorchidism. Testicular volumes and serum levels of reproductive hormones were examined.

Boys with bilateral cryptorchidism who had orchiopexy had considerably greater levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and lower levels of inhibin B than controls starting around puberty. Boys who had orchiopexy for unilateral cryptorchidism had considerably greater FSH levels than controls, while inhibin B levels were comparable. IGF-I, insulin-like factor 3, luteinizing hormone, and testosterone were typically similar amongst groups. From one year following the commencement of pubertal development, and boys who had orchiopexy and unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism had smaller testicles than the controls (P< 0.05).

Boys with cryptorchidism, particularly those with bilateral cryptorchidism who underwent orchiopexy, exhibited reduced testicular sizes and decreased blood levels of Sertoli cell and germ cell indicators compared to controls.