Varicocele and Male Factor Infertility Treatment: A New Meta-analysis and Review of the Role of Varicocele Repair

Department of Surgery, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
European Urology (Impact Factor: 13.94). 07/2011; 60(4):796-808. DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2011.06.018
Source: PubMed


Varicocele is a common condition, found in many men who present for infertility evaluation.
To assess the effect of varicocelectomy on male infertility.
A literature search was performed using Embase and Medline. Literature reviewed included meta-analyses and randomized and nonrandomized prospective (controlled and noncontrolled) studies. In addition, a new meta-analysis was performed.
Four randomized controlled trials reporting on pregnancy outcome after repair of clinical varicoceles in oligozoospermic men were identified. Using the random effect model, the combined odds ratio was 2.23 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86-5.78; p=0.091), indicating that varicocelectomy is moderately superior to observation, but the effect is not statistically significant. We identified 22, 17, and 5 prospective studies reporting on sperm concentration, total motility, and progressive motility, respectively, before and after repair of clinical varicocele. The random effect model combined improvement in sperm concentration was 12.32 million sperm per milliliter (95% CI, 9.45-15.19; p<0.0001). The random effect model combined improvement in sperm total and progressive motility were 10.86% (95% CI, 7.07-14.65; p<0.0001) and 9.69% (95% CI, 4.86-14.52; p=0.003), respectively. These results indicate that varicocelectomy is associated with a significant increase in sperm concentration as well as total and progressive motility. Prospective studies also show that varicocelectomy reduces seminal oxidative stress and sperm DNA damage as well as improving sperm ultramorphology. Studies indicate that a microsurgical approach to a varicocele repair results in less recurrence and fewer complications than other techniques.
Although there is no conclusive evidence that a varicocele repair improves spontaneous pregnancy rates, varicocelectomy improves sperm parameters (count and total and progressive motility), reduces sperm DNA damage and seminal oxidative stress, and improves sperm ultramorphology. The various methods of repair are all viable options, but microsurgical repair seems to be associated with better outcomes.

Download full-text


Available from: Armand Zini
  • Source
    • "Various modalities have been defined for the surgical treatment of varicole, including embolization, open varicocelectomy , laparoscopic varicocelectomy, and microsurgical varicocelectomy (Choi & Kim, 2013). Among these treatment methods, microscopic inguinal or subinguinal varicocelectomy are mostly preferred techniques with relatively high success and low complication rates (Baazeem et al., 2011; Choi & Kim, 2013; Sabanegh & Agarwal, 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of nocturnal sperm emissions (NSE) in varicocele patients after varicocele surgery. A total of 127 patients, 96 varicocele (Group 1) and 31 patients with inguinal hernia (Group 2) were included in this study. Mean age, laterality of surgical procedures, spermiogram results, marital status, and postoperative serum hormone levels were noted for all patients. Two groups were compared in terms of Beck depression score (BDS) and anxiety scores (AS). The frequency of NSE and libido changes in the patients during 10 days postoperatively was evaluated. The number of the patients who had NSE and increased libido were significantly higher in the varicocelectomy group when compared with the control group. No significant difference was noted between the groups in terms of BDS, AS, and serum hormone levels. No association was reported between BDS, AS, and serum hormone levels and the presence of NSE in Group 1. The incidence of NSE was higher in younger men. Increased libido was significantly associated with NSE in Group 1. Cord dissection during surgery may be a factor on increased frequency of NSEs in varicocele patients.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · American journal of men's health
  • Source
    • "Varicocele has a harmful effect on spermatogenesis [3,4]. Although the influence of varicocele treatment on fertility remains controversial, there is clear evidence that varicocelectomy improves the semen parameters that serve as surrogate markers for potential fertility [5,6]. Microsurgical varicocelectomy has been shown to be the most effective method among the surgical techniques available to treat varicocele and produces the least morbidity in patients [7]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose In the present study, we aimed to identify the incidence of fever in patients after subinguinal microsurgical varicocelectomy and to evaluate the clinical factors associated with the occurrence of the fever. Materials and Methods We retrospectively reviewed the cases of patients who underwent subinguinal microsurgical varicocelectomy (group A) under spinal anesthesia. In addition, we reviewed the cases of patients who underwent microsurgical vasovasostomy under spinal anesthesia as a control group (group B). The incidence of fever in each group was compared. We investigated the clinical factors influencing the occurrence of fever in the patients of group A. Results The incidence of fever in group A was significantly higher than that in group B (32.5% [53/163] vs. 0.4% [1/284]; p<0.001). Clinical factors such as age, varicocele grade, weight, height, operation time, number of ligated veins, usage of immediate postoperative analgesics, presence of postoperative hematoma, and duration of hospital stay were not significantly associated with the occurrence of fever. Conclusions We found that one-third of the patients developed transient fever after subinguinal microsurgical varicocelectomy, and therefore, this information should be provided during preoperative counseling.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014
  • Source
    • "More recently, Abdel-Meguid in a prospective randomized trial demonstrated Spontaneous pregnancies in 13.9% of the controls compared with 32.9% of the treated patients, with an odds ratio of 3.04 (Abdel-Meguid et al., 2011). Moreover, Bazeem performed an update of the review of the literature (Baazeem et al., 2011); in addition, a new meta-analysis was performed. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We reviewed a large number of patients from 2000 to 2010 that underwent varicocoele correction using the retrograde sclerotization approach. Three hundred and seventy-six of them were included in the study, as they met the inclusion criteria. Mean age at the time of surgery was 32 years (SD: 6.5); 32% of them were 35 years and older. Patients were classified according to the clinical classification (GC) and Sarteschi's Doppler ultrasound classification (GS). The patients showed up at the clinic after an average time of 30 months of referred infertility related (SD: 28.54). Patients underwent pre-operative assessment with physical examination, sperm analysis and Doppler ultrasound, and again the same assessment at least 3 months after surgery. We evaluated the following parameters: sperm concentration (millions/mL, CONC), percentage motility (a+b, MOT) and the percentage of morphologically typical spermatozoa (MOR). Univariate and Multivariate analysis were performed. The research of Pearson's coefficients was performed to test the correlation between sperm parameters and age, SG, CG. Semen specimens were evaluated according to WHO 1999 criteria. Mean CONC varied from 34.5 to 47.0 millions/mL (+12.5; p < 0.001); MOT from 27.2 to 34.5% (+7.3%; p < 0.001); and MOR from 44.0 to 47.6% (+3.6%; p = 0.001). Univariable and multivariable analysis of variance related to age showed no significant difference of parameters improvement. Pearson's correlation coefficient for pre-operative and post-operative sperm MOT related to patients' age was respectively −0.11 (p < 0.001) and −0.18 (p = 0.04). No other significance was found. Usefulness of treating infertile patients affected by varicocoele is confirmed: varicocoele correction leads to significant sperm parameters improvement. There is no evidence of different improvement related to patients' age. The decline in sperm motility related to age of the patients seems to be only age-dependent: the usefulness of treating patients affected by varicocoele is not influenced by their age: treatment should also be offered to older patients.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Andrology
Show more