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Fertil Steril. 2000 Sep;74(3):461-4.

Varicocele is associated with abnormal retention of cytoplasmic droplets by human spermatozoa.

Author information

1
Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. azini@mtsinai.on.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether varicocele is associated with retention of sperm cytoplasmic droplets in infertile men.

DESIGN:

Retrospective study.

SETTING:

University infertility clinic.

PATIENT(S):

Nonazoospermic men with idiopathic (n = 69) and varicocele-associated infertility (n = 73), and 20 fertile controls presenting for vasectomy.

INTERVENTION(S):

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES(S):

Standard semen parameters and percentage of spermatozoa with cytoplasmic droplets on Papanicolaou smears.

RESULT(S):

No statistically significant differences were found between the fertile and infertile groups with respect to semen volume. Fertile controls had significantly greater mean percent sperm motility and normal morphology than infertile men. The mean percentage of sperm with residual cytoplasm was statistically significantly different in all three groups. Infertile men with varicocele had the highest percentage of sperm with cytoplasmic droplets, the next highest level being in men with idiopathic infertility and the lowest level in fertile controls (11.7 +/- 1.0, 8.1 +/- 0.9 and 3.2 +/- 0.4%, respectively, P<.0001).

CONCLUSION(S):

Our data show that idiopathic and even moreso, varicocele-related male infertility are conditions associated with impaired disposal of residual sperm cytoplasm by the testis and/or epididymis. These data provide a possible mechanism for the observed semen abnormalities and reduced fertility potential associated with varicocele and idiopathic male infertility.

PMID:
10973638
DOI:
10.1016/s0015-0282(00)00703-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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