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Abstract

Volume 18, Issue 2 (March 2016) 18, 186–193; DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.170441

Novel insights into the pathophysiology of varicocele and its association with reactive oxygen species and sperm DNA fragmentation

Chak-Lam Cho, Sandro C Esteves, Ashok Agarwal

1Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Kwong Wah Hospital, 25 Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong; 2ANDROFERT, Center for Male Reproduction, Av. Dr. Heitor
Penteado 1464, Campinas, SP 13075‑460, Brazil; 3American Center for Reproductive Medicine, 10681 Carnegie Avenue, X‑11, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

Correspondence: Dr. A Agarwal (agarwaa@ccf.org)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION
Varicocele is a vascular abnormality of the testicular venous drainage
system. It is manifested by a mass of abnormally dilated and tortuous
veins of pampiniform and/or cremasteric venous plexus. It represents
the most common cause of primary and secondary infertility in men.
Infertility is a major clinical problem and affects 13%–15% of
couples worldwide.1 Male infertility attributes to approximately
50%–60% and varicocele alone accounts for 35% of the cases.2
The incidence of clinical varicocele was 25.4% in men with
abnormal semen and 11.7% in men with normal semen.3 Varicoceles
are considered the most common surgically correctable cause of male
factor subfertility. Varicocelectomy results in improvement in semen
parameters and natural pregnancy in 60%–80% and 20%–60% of
couples, respectively.4

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