INVITED REVIEW
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 217-221

Prognostic factors for a favorable outcome after varicocele repair in adolescents and adults


1 Institute of Urology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2 Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mary K Samplaski
Institute of Urology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.169558

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The effect of varicocele repair on male fertility remains controversial. It would be helpful to determined which men would benefit most from varicocele repair, and target repair efforts at those individuals. A detailed review of the literature on prognostic factors for varicocele repair was performed using the PubMed NLM database. We found that the best predictor of postvaricocelectomy semen parameters is the preoperative semen parameters. The greatest improvements in semen parameters were found in men with larger varicoceles. While there is controversy, higher testosterone, younger age and larger testis size, in some studies predict for improvements in semen parameters postvaricocelectomy. A nomogram has been developed to predict the postvaricocelectomy semen parameters based on the preoperative semen parameters, varicocele grade and the age of the man (www.fertilitytreatmentresults.com). Limited data consistently demonstrates the greatest improvements in DNA fragmentation rates in men with higher baseline DNA fragmentation rates. With respect to reproductive outcomes, higher baseline sperm density consistently predicts for natural pregnancy or assisted reproductive technology (ART) pregnancy rates. In addition, varicocele repair does seem to reduce the need for more invasive modalities of ART. In conclusion, we can now start to use specific parameters such as baseline semen quality, varicocele grade and patient age to predict post-repair semen quality and fertility potential following varicocelectomy.


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