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February 23, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(8):626-629. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970430016006

• Follow-up in cases of bilateral cryptorchism has shown that descent at least as late as the 14th year is consistent with fertility. There is little evidence that testes descending spontaneously by age 15 have undergone damage. The frequency of undescended testis is much greater in younger than in older boys. This confirms the conclusion, based on observation of descent of testis in many individual cases, that spontaneous descent occurs frequently in the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th years and that an appreciable number of testes descend in the 15th year. Endocrine therapy before puberty is of questionable value, and overdosage in a mechanically retained testis produces irreversible atrophy. Consideration of published surgical data shows that a boy with bilateral nondescent has a much better chance of ultimately having children if late spontaneous descent is allowed to take place and surgery is deferred until the 16th or 17th year.