Tubular ectasia of rete testis represents dilated testicular mediastinal tubules.
This condition is more common in men over the age of 55 years.
This is a benign condition thought to result from the partial or complete obliteration of the efferent ducts. These spermatozoa-containing cysts communicate with the tubular system into the epididymis. It is often bilateral, is frequently associated with spermatoceles and may occur as result of a vasectomy 2.
At sonography, it appears as multiple small cystic or tubular anechoic structures that replace and enlarge the testicular mediastinum. The geographic shape, lack of mass effect, and lack of internal vascularity (Doppler flow) are helpful to distinguish this benign condition from a partially cystic tumor.
On MR imaging, the cystic dilatation or ectasia of multiple small tubules of the rete testis appears hyperintense on T2-weighted images. After administration of gadolinium contrast, no internal enhancement is seen.
Treatment and prognosis
It is a pathologically-benign process 3.
- 1. Kim W, Rosen MA, Langer JE et-al. US MR imaging correlation in pathologic conditions of the scrotum. Radiographics. 27 (5): 1239-53. doi:10.1148/rg.275065172 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Ishigami K, Abu-Yousef MM, El-Zein Y. Tubular ectasia of the epididymis: a sign of postvasectomy status. J Clin Ultrasound. 2005;33 (9): 447-51. doi:10.1002/jcu.20162 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Nair R, Abbaraju J, Rajbabu K, Anjum F, Sriprasad S. Tubular ectasia of the rete testis: a diagnostic dilemma. (2008) Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 90 (7): W1-3. doi:10.1308/147870808X303119 - Pubmed
- 4. Rouvière O, Bouvier R, Pangaud C, Jeune C, Dawahra M, Lyonnet D. Tubular ectasia of the rete testis: a potential pitfall in scrotal imaging. (1999) European radiology. 9 (9): 1862-8. doi:10.1007/s003300050936 - Pubmed
- 5. Tartar VM, Trambert MA, Balsara ZN, Mattrey RF. Tubular ectasia of the testicle: sonographic and MR imaging appearance. (1993) AJR. American journal of roentgenology. 160 (3): 539-42. doi:10.2214/ajr.160.3.8430548 - Pubmed
- 6. Older RA, Watson LR. Tubular ectasia of the rete testis: a benign condition with a sonographic appearance that may be misinterpreted as malignant. (1994) The Journal of urology. 152 (2 Pt 1): 477-8. Pubmed
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