Burned-out testis tumour

Burned-out testis tumours may be present if there is metastatic retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy, but the primary testicular tumour is a relatively occult, scarred intratesticular focus. Approximately 50% of the "burned-out" tumours continue to harbour malignant cells.

Retroperitoneal germ cell tumours are more often secondary (unlike mediastinal and CNS germ cell tumours), and for secondary retroperitoneal germ cell tumours, the testicles are the most common origin. An occult burned out germ cell tumour may represent ~10% of apparently primary retroperitoneal germ cell tumours 3.

A germ cell tumour presumably "burns out" when it outstrips its blood supply and then regresses. Nonseminomatous germ cell tumours have the highest rate of regression.

  • small echogenic intratesticular scar in a patient with metastatic-appearing retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy
  • may be calcified

Orchiectomy is still performed because ~50% of "burned out" testicular tumours continue to harbour malignancy despite systemic chemotherapy 4. Radiotherapy is sometimes used.

The concept of the "burned out" testicular tumour was first described by Prim in 1927 1, but the term "Azzopardi tumour" arose in 1961 after Azzopardi described the phenomenon in patients who had died of metastatic choriocarcinoma and nonseminomatous germ cell tumours 5.

Ultrasound - testicular and scrotal
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Article information

rID: 33197
System: Urogenital
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Azzopardi tumor
  • Burned out testicular tumor
  • Burned out testicular cancer
  • Azzopardi tumour
  • Burned out testicular tumour

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1
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    Case 2: burned-out testicular seminoma
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