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Image Number 7 - Testis, atrophy, seminiferous tubules

The important feature empasized in this field is atrophy. Atrophy is defined as a diminution in size. In this case, there is a marked decrease in the size of each of the 3 seminiferous tubules. Atrophy can refer to a decrease in size of the organ as a whole, a part of the organ, or individual cells in the organ. In the case of seminiferous tubules, two common etiologies leading to atrophy are: 1) mumps-associated orchitis resulting in a post inflammatory atrophy, and 2) ischemia of the testis from torsion of the vasculature. In this example, there is an accompanying inflammatory cell infiltrate seen as a hypercellularity of the interstitium. Such an infiltrate is consistent with both an infarct of the tissue and an infectious process. Atrophy is another form of adaptation and is therefore reversible.

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