Xanthogranulomatous funiculitis and epididymo-orchitis in a tetraplegic patient

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Study design: A case report of xanthogranulomatous funiculitis and epididymo-orchitis. Xanthogranulomatous inflammation is an uncommon, non-neoplastic process characterised by destruction of tissue, which is replaced by a striking cellular infiltrate of lipid-laden macrophages.

Case Report: A 21-year male sustained complete tetraplegia at C-6 level, after a fall in 1998. The neuropathic bladder was managed with an indwelling urethral catheter. He had many unsuccessful trials of micturition. Sixteen months after the cervical injury, he noticed swelling of the left side of the scrotum following removal of a blocked catheter. He was prescribed antibacterial therapy. Four weeks later, physical examination revealed a hard and irregular swelling encompassing the testis, epididymis and spermatic cord. The clinical diagnosis was epididymo-orchitis progressing to pyocele. Through a scrotal incision, the swollen testis, epididymis and diseased segment of the spermatic cord were removed en masse. Histopathology showed extensive areas of necrosis, with xanthogranulomatous inflammation in the spermatic cord and to a lesser extent in the testis/epididymis.

Conclusion: Repeated episodes of high-pressure urinary reflux along the vas deferens during dyssynergic voiding, and subsequent interstitial extravasation of urine together with chronic, low-grade, suppurative infection possibly led to development of xanthogranulomatous inflammation in the testis and the epididymis. Since tissue destruction is a feature of xanthogranulomatous inflammation, the definite and curative treatment is either complete (or, where applicable, partial) excision of the affected organ in most of the cases.

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Correspondence to S Vaidyanathan.

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Vaidyanathan, S., Mansour, P., Parsons, K. et al. Xanthogranulomatous funiculitis and epididymo-orchitis in a tetraplegic patient. Spinal Cord 38, 769–772 (2000) doi:10.1038/sj.sc.3101045

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  • xanthogranulomatous inflammation
  • spinal cord injury
  • funiculitis
  • epididymo-orchitis
  • neuropathic bladder

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