Frozen section assessment in testicular and paratesticular lesions suspicious for malignancy: Its role in preventing unnecessary orchiectomy

M. Kristina Subik, Jennifer Gordetsky, Jorge L. Yao, P. Anthony Di Sant'Agnese, Hiroshi Miyamoto

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32 Scopus citations


To investigate the role of frozen section assessment in sparing unnecessary orchiectomy for suspected lesions, we retrospectively reviewed intraoperative testicular and paratesticular frozen section assessments performed at our institution between the years 1993 and 2010. Frozen section assessments were performed on 45 testicular lesions (age, 5-60 [mean, 32.2] years; lesion size, 0.5-9.7 [mean, 2.1] cm) and 20 paratesticular lesions (age, 26-76 [mean, 43.5] years; lesion size, 0.4-11.0 [mean, 2.8] cm) before the decision to complete radical orchiectomy. Benign/malignant frozen section assessment diagnoses were reported in 26/19 testicular cases and 17/3 paratesticular cases, respectively. Of the 26 benign testicular frozen section assessments, 5 cases resulted in orchiectomy, where permanent diagnoses included epidermoid cyst, large cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumor, fibrous pseudotumor, abscesses, and sarcoidosis, caused by a concern for potential malignancy or questionable viability of the testicles. Of the 19 malignant testicular frozen section assessments, orchiectomy was performed in 16 cases with germ cell tumor, but not in the remaining 3 cases with lymphoma. Of the 17 benign paratesticular frozen section assessments, 2 cases, both fibrous pseudotumors, resulted in orchiectomy. There were statistically significant differences in the size of the testicular (P <.001) or paratesticular (P <.001) lesions between benign and malignant frozen section assessments. Thus, in 36 (83.7%) of 43 cases with benign frozen section assessments, in addition to all 3 cases of lymphoma, orchiectomy was successfully avoided. These results suggest that frozen section assessment is useful for permitting testicular preservation, especially in men with small, nonpalpable, incidentally found masses as well as other benign lesions where a clinical diagnosis of malignancy is in doubt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1514-1519
Number of pages6
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • Frozen section
  • Orchiectomy
  • Paratesticular tumor
  • Testicular tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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