Chronic Hydrocoele

Clinical History

This specimen was obtained at necropsy from a man of 80 who died following a haematemesis.


The specimen consists of a testis, tunica vaginalis and distal end of the spermatic cord. The testis and its coverings have been bisected and mounted to display the cut surface. The tunica vaginalis is thickened and the enclosed cavity is distended. The testis is normal. This is an example of a chronic hydrocoele.


A hydrocoele is a collection of clear, straw-coloured fluid in the tunica vaginalis surrounding the testis. It can usually be diagnosed by trans-illumination of the scrotum. It may be associated with generalised oedema. Alternatively, it may result from chronic infection of the epididymis and testis, or from a testicular tumour.