Testis & epididymis
Paratesticular tumors

Editor-in-Chief: Debra Zynger, M.D.
Swapnil U. Rane, M.D.

Topic Completed: 1 April 2014

Minor changes: 3 July 2020

Copyright: 2002-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Lymphoma [title] testis [title]

Swapnil U. Rane, M.D.
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Cite this page: Rane S. Lymphoma-paratesticular. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/testisparatestlymphoma.html. Accessed August 4th, 2020.
  • Paratesticular lymphoma is rare without testicular involvement
  • Inadequate staging information in many reported cases
  • Involves epididymis in 60% and spermatic cord in 39% of cases (Am J Surg Pathol 1994;18:376)
  • Lymphomas comprise 2% of spermatic cord tumors (J Urol 1965;94:445)
  • Most patients are elderly although younger patients have been reported
  • Epididymis and spermatic cord are most common location; involvement of tunica or lymphoma arising in cysts / hydroceles is rare
Pathophysiology / etiology
  • Precise pathophysiology of primary paratesticular lymphomas is unknown
  • Occurrence in tunica, cysts or hydroceles suggests role of chronic inflammation, demonstrated by EBV DNA in these cases (Am J Surg Pathol 2012;36:1074, Mod Pathol 2010;23:493)
  • Most cases are diffuse large B cell lymphoma; other reported types (uncommon) are follicular, Burkitt, plasmacytoma, NK-T cell lymphoma
  • Single case of transplacental transmission of NK-T cell lymphoma localizing to paratesticular region (Blood 2011;117:6046)
  • Specific translocations are seen with each histological subtype
Clinical features
  • Painless scrotal / paratesticular swelling of variable duration
  • May have long standing history of hydrocele
  • Variable B symptoms
  • Histological examination with immunohistochemistry and FISH / PCR for translocations as necessary
  • Systemic workup for disease staging
  • Identification at frozen section can prevent unnecessary orchiectomy (Hum Pathol 2012;43:1514)
  • Misdiagnoses occur including mistaking lymphoma for seminoma, embryonal carcinoma and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2007;131:1040)
Radiology description
  • Radiology helpful to delineate extent of disease and for staging workup, not for diagnosis
  • Lesion is usually diffuse without sharp boundaries
Radiology images

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MRI of paratesticular lymphoma in infant

Paratesticular plasmacytoma

MALT lymphoma

Prognostic factors
  • Poor prognosis in general, due to extralymphatic disease and high incidence of CNS spread
  • Prognostic factors (same as lymphomas in general and specific to each histological type): age, ECOG status, LDH level, stage, association with HIV and other chronic infections
  • Mean overall survival is 32 - 96 months for testicular and paratesticular lymphoma (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2007;131:1040)
Case reports
  • Biopsy for diagnosis followed by systemic chemotherapy based on type of lymphoma; radiotherapy to prevent local recurrence
Gross description
  • As a nodule, lesion is fleshy and homegenous
  • No confluent necrosis or hemorrhage (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2007;131:1040)
  • As a nodule, lesion is fleshy with variable necrosis or hemorrhage
Gross images

Image hosted on other servers:

Well encapsulated

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Usually diffuse sheets of high grade cells with mitotic figures and apoptotic cells
  • Morphology depends on type of lymphoma
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

NK-T cell lymphoma in
infant (transplacental spread)

Large, atypical and polymorphic cells

Cytology description
  • Cellular smears with scattered single high grade lymphoid cells having prominent nucleoli, frequent mitosis and apoptosis
  • Full immunohistochemistry workup is essential for diagnosis: B, T cell markers, NK cell markers (if needed), BCL2, BCL6, CD10, Ki67, EBV LMP, EBNA, etc.
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • Translocation studies may be essential in some cases
Differential diagnosis
  • Embryonal carcinoma: usually has more necrosis and hemorrhage grossly and microscopically; has architectural features such as papillae or trabeculae, higher degree of pleomorphism and an intratubular germ cell neoplasia in situ component
  • Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Inflammatory pseudotumor / inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor: mixed population of cells as compared to the uniform population of high grade cells in non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Seminoma: similar gross appearance; microscopically has branching fibrous septae, cells with distinct borders, more cytoplasm and an intratubular germ cell neoplasia in situ component
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