Spermatic cord contamination in testicular cancer

Tipu Nazeer, Jae Y. Ro, Keun H. Kee, Alberto G. Ayala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


It is not uncommon to find testicular germ-cell tumors in the spermatic cord. This may represent contamination or true involvement (vascular invasion or direct tumoral extension into the cord). A correct identification of the process has important clinical implications. In a review of 326 testicular germ-cell tumors, 79 (24.2%) revealed tumor in the spermatic cord. Of these 79, contamination was found in 57 (72.1%), true involvement in 15 (19%), and true involvement and contamination in 7 (8.9%). Spermatic cord contamination was seen most frequently with seminomas: 34 (24.1%) of 141 seminomas and 20 (15.4%) of 130 mixed germ-cell tumors. Eighteen of the 20 mixed germ-cell tumors contained an embryonal carcinoma component. True involvement was seen most frequently in embryonal carcinoma. Six (15.4%) of 39 pure embryonal carcinomas demonstrated true cord involvement. Six mixed germ-cell tumors with true cord involvement contained an embryonal carcinoma component. Distinguishing between true involvement of the spermatic cord and contamination can occasionally be problematic. Because true involvement, especially at the spermatic cord resection margin, identifies patients at a high risk for relapse, the problem of contamination caused by inadequate precautionary measures can be avoided by meticulous handling and processing of the specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-766
Number of pages5
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1996


  • Contamination
  • Spermatic cord
  • Testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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