Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Testicular tumors

Synonym(s): Sertoli cell, seminoma, Interstitial cell neoplasia

Contributor(s): Ash Phipps , Paul Wood

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Introduction

  • Tumors of the testicle are uncommon in bulls.
  • There is a higher incidence in older bulls than younger bulls.
    • Sertoli cell tumors can occur in young bulls and new born calves.
  • Testicular tumors are divided, for descriptive purposes, into:
    • Germ cell tumors.
    • Non-germinal tumors.

Types of testicular tumor

Germ cell tumors
  • Seminoma:
    • Seminomas are rare and benign in bulls.
    • Seminomas can occur in both undescended testes and scrotal testes.
  • Teratoma and teratocarcinoma
    • These tumors are rare in bulls (in the stallion they are more commonly seen in cryptorchid animals).
    • They arise directly from the cells of the seminiferous epithelium and therefore can transform into endoderm, mesoderm or ectoderm.  
    • For this reason, on the cut surface, these tumors will have many different types of tissue, including differentiated hair, fat, teeth and bone.  
    • The tumors are usually round or oval with irregular surfaces.  
Non-germinal tumors
  • Interstitial (Leydig) cell tumors: 
    • These are rare in bulls. 
    • They are usually small 1 to 2 cm in diameter and there maybe single or multiple tumors.
    • The tumors may impact on semen quality, and therefore, the fertility of the affected bulls.
  • Sertoli cell tumors: 
    • These tumors are rare in bulls and have been seen in young and new born calves (with the latter, likely to be associated with impaired embryological development).
    • These tumors do have the potential to metastasis, although this is an uncommon occurrence.
    • Local extension of the testicular tumor into the testicular vein and local lymphatics can result in the development of hydrocele.
    • The tumors may impact on semen quality and therefore the fertility of the affected bulls.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Abnormal/ altered cellular growth.

Predisposing factors

  • Cryptorchid males are predisposed.

Pathophysiology

  • Abnormal/altered cellular growth within the testicle.

Timecourse

  • Most neoplasms develop over years.
    • With the exception of Sertoli cell tumors which may be present at birth for some bull calves or develop early in the bull calf’s life.

Epidemiology

  • Sporadic.
  • Usually, only the individual is affected.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Abu-Seida A M (2012) Ultrasonographic diagnosis of some scrotal swellings in bulls. Pak. Vet. J 32, pp 378-381.

Other sources of information

  • Smith B P (1996) Large animal internal medicine. Mosby Elsevier. St. Louis, Missouri, pp 140.
  • Fubini S L & Ducharme N (2016) Farm Animal Surgery-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp 117.
  • Knottenbelt D, Parlevliet J (2017) Testis: neoplasia – overview. Vetstream Equis, [online] Available at: www.vetstream.com.


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