Testicular symmetry and adolescent varicocele-does it need followup? - Abstract

Division of Pediatric Urology, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, Department of Urology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York.


Appropriate management for adolescent varicocele with testicular symmetry is rarely discussed. We examined the natural history of varicocele in patients presenting with testicular symmetry to achieve better understanding of the clinical course.

Our varicocele registry was queried for adolescent boys who presented with varicocele in association with less than 15% testicular asymmetry and who underwent at least 1 testicular asymmetry assessment 12 or more months later. Patients were stratified into 2 groups based on an initial testicular asymmetry measurement of less than 10% vs 10.0% to 14.9%. Logistic regression modeling was used to analyze the association of Tanner stage, varicocele grade, peak retrograde flow and maximum vein diameter at presentation with increased testicular asymmetry at followup. Kaplan-Meier methodology was applied to compare testicular asymmetry progression rates.

We identified 89 adolescents, of whom 52 (58.4%) and 37 (41.6%) presented with less than 10.0% and 10.0% to 14.9% testicular asymmetry, respectively. Of the patients 37 (41.6%) showed testicular asymmetry progression at a median 18-month followup. The overall 3-year testicular asymmetry progression-free rate was 48% while in patients with peak retrograde flow 30 cm per second or greater it was 23%. On multivariate analysis controlled for age, Tanner stage and varicocele grade a peak retrograde flow of 30 cm per second or greater was associated with worsening testicular asymmetry (OR 4.87, 95% CI 1.6-8.0).

Adolescents with varicocele and less than 15% testicular asymmetry are at risk for asymmetry during followup. Those with peak retrograde flow 30 cm per second or greater are at increased risk for early asymmetry while those with peak retrograde flow less than 30 cm per second may still show asymmetry but tend to do so after longer followup.

Written by:
Korets R, Woldu SL, Nees SN, Spencer BA, Glassberg KI.   Are you the author?

Reference: J Urol. 2011 Oct;186(4 Suppl):1614-9.
doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.03.068

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21862060

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