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Br J Urol. 1978 Dec;50(7):598-604.

Obstructive azoospermia: respiratory function tests, electron microscopy and the results of surgery.


Forty-five patients have been treated surgically for obstructive azoospermia. Fifteen underwent reversal of vasectomy and 40% of the wives became pregnant. Thirty had epididymovasostomy, and in only 2 (6.5%) did the sperm count become normal, although a few poorly motile sperms appeared in the ejaculate in a further 4 patients. Congenital abnormalities of the vasa in 7 cases and post-inflammatory blocks in 4 cases were examples of obstructive azoospermia due to well defined causes. However, in half of the patients (15 cases) the cause was obscure although it was associated with sinusitis, bronchitis or bronchiectasis (Young's syndrome). The results of pulmonary function tests in 30 cases, and electron microscopic studies of cilia from epididymes (10 cases) and bronchial mucosa (2 cases) indicated that the basic abnormality might be malfunction of the microtubules which appeared to be ultrastructurally normal in most cases. One case appeared to be associated with dietary deficiency, and correction of diet coincided with a successful result of surgery.

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