ABSTRACT: Varicocele consists of dilatation of the pampiniform venous plexus and the internal spermatic veins. It is present in 15% of male population and is a common cause of male infertility. Objective: To describe the normal structure of the internal spermatic vein and the morphological changes in grade 3 varicocele.
The authors dissected and analyzed a 2- to 3-cm tract of the pampiniform venous plexus of 20 patients undergoing varicocelectomy for left varicocele and of 10 consecutive patients undergoing surgery for left inguinal hernia. The histological examination was performed with hematoxylin–eosin and Masson trichrome stains. The ultrastructural evaluation was done using both scanning and transmission electron microscopy.
Compared with normal internal spermatic veins, varicocele veins showed narrowing and/or obliteration of the lumens, destruction of the endothelial cells, invagination of the intima, and deposition of collagen bundles in the media (light microscopy). The ultrastructural changes in varicocele veins included elongation of the endothelial cells with features of cellular damage, loss of the internal elastic lamina, and the appearance of ghost bodies and degenerative vacuoles in the subendothelial layer.
The authors believe this is the first report analyzing ultrastructual changes in normal human internal spermatic vein samples and in varicocele. The underlying molecular mechanisms of these changes await further studies.
Ultrastructural Pathology 10/2010; 34(5):260-8. · 0.76 Impact Factor