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Gegenbaurs Morphol Jahrb. 1988;134(5):733-61.

Studies on the size of human male gonad in biomorphosis, alcohol intoxication, and cirrhosis--a review and own findings.

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Department of Pathomorphology, Wracław District Specialistic Hospital, Poland.


The size of the testicle (absolute weight, relative weight as the index X, length, and width was measured in 142 late patients aged 17 to 87 a (mean age = 54 a) serving as controls, in 193 deceased patients aged 20 to 81 a (mean age = 47 a) with a history of alcoholism, and in 136 defunct patients aged 30 to 92 a (mean age = 59 a) with cirrhosis. A significant difference in the mean size of the testicles was demonstrated between the cirrhosis group and both the control and alcoholism groups. No statistically significant differences was observed between the control group and the alcoholism group. The degree of acute alcoholic intoxication has no significant effect on the degree of testicular atrophy. Chronic alcoholism exerted a more significant effect on the degree of testicular atrophy than acute alcoholism. Coexistent cirrhosis increased this difference even more. The type of cirrhosis and the degree of its inflammatory activity had no significant influence on the testicular size. Such effect was demonstrated, however, if diffuse fatty infiltration of the cirrhotic liver was present. In the biomorphosis, the greatest mean testicular size was observed in the 4th and 5th decade of life. From the 6th decade on, the testicular size decreased statistically significantly. The curve of the values of the mean testicular size in alcoholism was more flat than in the control group and was situated below it. No statistically significant differences among the values of the testicular size in this curve were found. The testicular size curve in cirrhosis was below both these curves, and a statistically significant difference was found between the 7th and the 9th decades. The mean weight of the testicules in controls, alcoholics, and patients with cirrhosis was 17.58, 16.49, and 13.25 g, respectively, the mean volume was 16.37, 15.34, and 12.21 ml, respectively, the value of the index X was 2.47, 2.52, and 1.97, respectively, the testicular length was 5.05, 4.08, and 3.61 cm, respectively, the width was 2.93, 2.87, and 2.70 cm, respectively.

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