Epididymal appendix

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 2 Sep 2020

Epididymal appendices, also known as appendix of the epididymis or appendix epididymis, are an testicular appendage found at the head of the epididymis 1. They represent a developmental remnant of the mesonephric duct (Wolffian duct). In 78% of the cases, it has a stalk configuration and is thus prone to torsion 2.

Normally, epididymal appendices are of no clinical significance, but when torsed they can cause an acute scrotum in children 2. After torsion of its pedicle with resultant infarction, the appendage may detach and wander inside the scrotum and appear as minute mobile particles ("loose bodies") 3.

Ultrasonography with a high-frequency linear transducer can reliably evaluate the appendix testis, including its vascularity. Its reported frequency in ultrasonography is ~12.5% (range 6-17%) 3.

The appendix epididymis, similarly to the appendix testis, is normally oval and pedunculated, although may be sessile in shape 1. They appear iso- or hyperechoic to the epididymal parenchyma. Sometimes, calcifications may be found. In general, the epididymis appendix is best seen when floating in a hydrocele.

When torsed, it is a cause of acute scrotum and imaging differential diagnosis should include:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: testes and spermatic cord (Gray's illustration)
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  • Case 1: epididymis and testis appendages
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  • Case 2: epididymal appendix
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  • Case 3: epididymal and testicular appendages
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  • Case 4: torsion of epididymal appendix
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