Does total testicular volume predict testicular volume difference in adolescent males with varicocele?

Ari P. Bernstein, Ethan B. Fram, Amanda C. North, Anthony J. Casale, Beth A. Drzewiecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: We evaluated the relationship between total testicular volume (TTV) and testicular volume differential (TVD) in adolescent males with varicocele. Both low TTV and high TVD have been independently associated with higher incidences of infertility later in life, but a predictive relationship between TTV and TVD directly has yet to be described.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed a database of Tanner 5 boys ages 16-21 who presented with varicocele at a single institution between 2009 and 2017. All patients had a scrotal sonogram prior to surgical intervention. TTV and TVD were calculated for each individual and four non-exclusive groupings of patients were created for statistical analysis. We chose 30 cc as a cut off value for low TTV based on prior studies.

RESULTS: 209 patients met our inclusion criteria. Mean age was 18.3 years (16-21, SD 1.7) with a mean total testicular volume of 36 cc (13.5-78.2, SD 11.1). Cut off points of TVD of 20% and TTV of 30 cc were used to separate patients. There were 65 boys (31%) with TTV < 30 cc and 58 boys (28%) with TVD ≥ 20%. Among males with TTV < 30 cc, 23 (35%) had a TVD ≥ 20%. Among males with TTV ≥ 30 cc, 35 (24%) had a TVD ≥ 20%. The relationship between TVD and TTV was found to be non-significant (p > 0.05).

DISCUSSION: Adolescent varicoceles continue to pose a challenge to pediatric urologists. The dilemma of over-aggressive treatment has proven difficult to balance with the risk of infertility. We hoped that elucidating the relationship between TTV and TVD could be useful in identifying patients who are at greater risk for infertility while decreasing the need for more intrusive testing, such as semen analysis, in an adolescent population. We looked at the direct relationship between low TTV and high TVD. In our population, there was a non-significant relationship between TTV < 30 cc and TVD ≥ 20% (p > 0.05) indicating that in adolescents with varicocele, TTV and TVD are independent variables. Our study limitations include the inherent user dependent bias of ultrasound measurements and data collection at a single institution with high ethnic diversity, possibly not comparable to all patient populations.

CONCLUSIONS: Low TTV (< 30 cc) itself is not predictive of high TVD (≥ 20%) in adolescent boys with varicocele, despite their reported independent associations with impaired fertility in other studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-986
Number of pages6
JournalInternational braz j urol : official journal of the Brazilian Society of Urology
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Infertility
  • Varicocele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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