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Mol Med Rep. 2014 May;9(5):1968-74. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2014.2014. Epub 2014 Mar 6.

Application of tension-free hernioplasty with hernia meshes of different materials and the postoperative effects on the reproductive function of male rats.

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Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical College, Xiashan, Zhanjiang 524001, P.R. China.


This study aimed to compare the effects of polypropylene (PP), lightweight PP (UP) and expanded polytetrafluorethylene (e-PTFE) hernia mesh on the reproductive function of adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats following open tension-free hernioplasty. Forty adult SD rats were obtained and divided into five groups: A sham-operated (FO) group, an e-PTFE mesh group, a PP mesh group, the UP mesh group and a normal control (NC) group (without any surgical manipulation). Ninety days following open tension-free hernioplasty, hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunhistochemistry were used to observe the pathological changes of the testicular tissue and to compare the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF‑1α) in the rat testis, respectively. ELISA was used to analyze the serum concentration of antisperm antibodies (AsAbs) and routine semen testing was conducted to measure the percentage of grade a+b sperm from the epididymis. More than 50% of mesh adherence to the spermatic cord was observed in the PP and UP groups, and mild or no adhesion was observed in the NC, FO and e-PTFE groups. In the UP and PP groups, marked congestion of necrotic tissue was observed in the seminiferous tubule cavity, a significant reduction in the percentage of grade a+b sperm and a significant increase in the expression levels of AsAbs and HIF-α. It was concluded that the e-PTFE mesh exhibited a marginal effect on the reproductive function of rats compared with that of the PP and UP mesh and is more suitable for tension-free hernioplasty. The clinical significance of these results requires further elucidation with a multi-centered prospective study.

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