Rete Testis Dysgenesis
The term rete testis dysgenesis refers to the presence of a rete testis with infantile characteristics in the adult, absence of development of the rete testis cavities, and persistence of a cubic epithelium instead of the squamous epithelium of the adult. It is associated in many cases with a ductal, pseudoglandular, or papillary proliferation of this epithelium.
Frequent in the undescended testes removed in the adult (Nistal et al. 1997).
It is a lesion preferably of adults although congenital forms are also observed.
Both testes. No predilection of laterality.
It is a benign process that probably has its beginning in fetal life due to its association with undescended testes or germ cell tumors, so it should be included among the histological lesions of the testes with testicular dysgenesis syndrome (Nistal et al. 2017).
In most cases, it is seen in small testicles.
Microcystic and adenomatous patterns pose a more difficult differential diagnosis with other processes, both benign and malignant. They should be distinguished from: (a) The pseudohyperplasia of the rete testis that can be observed in many atrophic testes of elderly people or reactive to the underlying inflammatory process. In these cases, they are focal lesions and multiple, microscopic lesions that preferentially affect the septal rete. (b) Tumors of the rete testis. The benign tumors of the rete testis (adenomas, solid and papillary, and cystadenomas) (Paluru et al. 2018) are different because they are larger and unique lesions, while adenomatous hyperplasia is a histological finding most of the time and is a diffuse process. The adenocarcinoma of the rete testis, apart from its larger size, is a tumor with abundant mitosis and marked infiltrative capacity of the testicular parenchyma. (c) The metastases of tumors such as prostate can be located only at the level of the mediastinum, but do not produce alterations neither in the architecture nor in the epithelium of the rete testis.
References and Further Reading
- Nistal, M., & Jiménez-Heffernan, J. A. (1997) Rete testis dysgenesis. A characteristic lesion of undescended testes. Arch Pathol Lab Med, 121, 1259–64.Google Scholar