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A hydrocele (Br English: hydrocoele) denotes a pathological accumulation of serous fluid in a body cavity. It can also be noted as a minor malformation of newborns due to high levels of lead in the mother's blood during pregnancy.
A hydrocele testis is the accumulation of fluids around a testicle, and is fairly common. It is caused by fluid secreted from a remnant piece of peritoneum wrapped around the testicle, called the tunica vaginalis. It can be the result of cancer, trauma (such as a hernia), or orchitis, and can also occur in infants undergoing peritoneal dialysis. It may be treated surgically. Hydroceles are usually not painful, but neither are testicular tumors. A common way of diagnosing a hydrocele is by attempting to shine a strong light through the enlarged scrotum. A hydrocele will usually pass light, while a tumor will not. A related region in females that can have a hydrocele is the canal of Nuck.
A hydrocele can also be the result of a plugged inguinal lymphatic system caused by repeated, chronic infection of Wuchereria bancrofti or Brugia malayi, two mosquito-borne parasites of Africa and Southeast Asia, respectively. As such, the condition would be a part of more diffuse sequelae commonly referred to as elephantiasis, which also affects the lymphatic system in other parts of the body.
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