Referral patterns for undescended testis: A 7 year comparative analysis of primary care providers

Elizabeth N. Bearrick, Colby Dixon, Adam Kaplan, Sean O'Brien, David Radosevich, Resha Tejpaul, Jane Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cryptorchidism, or undescended testis (UDT), is identified in 1% of boys by one year of age and carries long term risks of infertility and testicular neoplasia. In 2014, the American Urological Association (AUA) released a guideline statement stating that patients with UDT should be referred to a urologist by 6 months of age in order to facilitate timely surgical correction. This study is the follow-up to a 2010 study assessing referral patterns to our university center from primary care providers. Objective: In this new study, we aim to identify changes in referral patterns in response to the establishment of the 2014 AUA guidelines and to understand how our referring physicians stay abreast of current knowledge regarding UDT. Study design: A 9 question anonymous survey regarding UDT referral patterns was sent to providers who had previously referred a patient to our pediatric urology practice. The results were categorized by specialty and were compared to the similar survey from 2010. Results: Surveys were sent to 500 physicians with 138 (27.6%) responses received. Less than half of respondents reported that they would refer a boy with unilateral or bilateral palpable UDT by 6 months of age (37.0% and 38.4% respectively). This was not significantly different than the 2010 survey (p = 0.68 and 0.27 respectively). Two-thirds of physicians would refer a patient with unilateral nonpalpable UDT within the recommended time frame (68.8%); this was also unchanged from 2010 (p = 0.87). There was an improvement in respondents who would refer immediately for bilateral nonpalpable testes from 49.8% in 2010 to 53.6% in 2017 (p = 0.01). Residency training was most commonly cited as the primary source of knowledge regarding UDT although 89.3% of respondents citing this were >5 years removed from residency training. Discussion: Delayed referral patterns were reported by the majority of providers for palpable UDT and by greater than one-third of providers for nonpalpable UDT. There was minimal change in referral patterns between 2010 and 2017 despite the release of the AUA cryptorchidism guidelines in 2014. In both 2010 and 2017, residency training was identified as the primary source of knowledge regarding management of UDT. Conclusion: These findings suggest an unmet need for education regarding contemporary management of UDT for the primary care physicians in our community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736.e1-736.e6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021

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  • Cryptorchidism
  • Referral patterns


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