Reliability of sonographic testicular volume assessment

Author(s): Dr Michael Jackson, Dr Merike Mikkov, Dr Samantha Choi

Hospital: Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Edinburgh

Reference: RAD Magazine, 49, 573, 23-24


Learning anatomy from art history books demands caution, but the contention that “in most men the right testicle is slightly larger,” made in James Hall’s The Sinister Side: How left-right Symbolism Shaped Western Art, was the starting point for this examination of the challenges related to testicular volume assessment. In paediatric practice, the most common indication for testicular sonographic volume calculation is in the presence of varicocele, where a volume discrepancy of ≥20% (sometimes ≥15%) may dictate decisions on whether or not to intervene. However, if natural asymmetry exists, can size discrepancy be considered a reliable indicator, and just how accurate is volume calculation, anyway? While this article focuses on the testes, many issues raised are equally applicable to evaluation of other structures, and indeed the process of quantification in imaging more broadly.

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