Objectives: It has been estimated that extragonadal germ cell tumors (EGCTs) constitute 3% to 5% of germ cell neoplasms. An interesting clinical scenario occurs when a patient with a presumed EGCT and normal testicular examination and ultrasound findings has a retroperitoneal metastatic pattern consistent with either a right or left-sided testicular primary. We reviewed the pathologic data of patients presenting with these clinical findings after delayed orchiectomy at postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND). Methods: We identified 14 patients with apparent EGCT who had undergone simultaneous orchiectomy at PC-RPLND at our institution from July 1979 to July 2002 because of a lateralizing pattern of retroperitoneal metastases concerning for a testicular primary. Of the 14 patients, 3 had completely normal testicular ultrasound findings after chemotherapy and 11 had minimal ultrasound findings not consistent with a testicular tumor. Results: Two (14%) of the PC orchiectomy specimens contained mature teratoma and eight (57%) contained necrosis and/or focal fibrosis. Thus, 10 (71%) of 14 patients undergoing PC orchiectomy at PC-RPLND because of metastatic disease laterality had evidence of a testicular primary. Conclusions: Most (71%) patients with a presumed EGCT who underwent PC orchiectomy because of lateralizing retroperitoneal metastases had histologic evidence of a testicular primary (20% teratoma, 80% focal necrosis or fibrosis). If the retroperitoneal pattern of metastatic tumor spread is consistent with a primary testicular tumor, we offer PC orchiectomy to patients with apparent EGCT at PC-RPLND, even if the PC testicular examination and ultrasound findings are normal.
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