Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 659-667

Varicocele and testicular function

1 Center for Reproductive Medicine; Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
2 Divisionof Urology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston; Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence Address:
Alexander W Pastuszak
Center for Reproductive Medicine; Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.153539

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Testicular varicocele, a dilation of the veins of the pampiniform plexus thought to increase testicular temperature via venous congestion, is commonly associated with male infertility. Significant study has clarified the negative impact of varicocele on semen parameters and more recent work has shed light on its detrimental effects on the molecular and ultrastructural features of sperm and the testicular microenvironment, as well as more clearly defined the positive impacts of treatment on couples' fertility. The relationship between varicocele and testicular endocrine function, while known for some time based on histologic evaluation, has become more apparent in the clinical setting with a growing link between varicocele and hypogonadism. Finally, in the pediatric setting, while future study will clarify the impact of varicocele on fertility and testicular function, recent work supports a parallel effect of varicocele in adolescents and adults, suggesting a re-evaluation of current treatment approaches in light of the progressive nature of the condition and potential increased risk of future disease.

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