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Acute Care CMEPANCE ReviewPhysician Assistant CME

When to Order a Pregnancy Test…For a Guy (You Read that Correctly!)

By April 14, 2014October 31st, 2014No Comments

That’s right – we’re going to talk about when to give a man a pregnancy test.

Unexpected lab test, confirmed results
When would I (or you) order a pregnancy test for a guy?

A 19-year old male presented with chest pain. Something seemed off to me, and I had to follow through on the hunch. I walked to the lab, grabbed the lab tech and said, “Listen, do me a favor and run a pregnancy test on his urine. If it is negative, I am going to pretend I never had this conversation with you. If it is positive, I will order it officially.”

The test was positive. So, what diagnosis are you expecting?

If you guessed testicular cancer, you are correct.

A look at the diagnosis
The patient had belly pain. He had an ostrich eggshell testicle that was painless, leading to a correct diagnosis of testicular cancer. What lead me to order the pregnancy test? Well, a testicular tumor produces human chorionic gonadotropin.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the syncytiotrophoblast, a component of the fertilized egg, after conception. This is what a majority of pregnancy tests measure. When a man tests positive for hCG, that’s when signs point to testicular cancer. Further testing is most definitely recommended…or he could be pregnant.

Image courtesy of Krishnan

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