CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1263–1280 | Cite as

Interventional Radiology of Male Varicocele: Current Status

  • Vittorio IaccarinoEmail author
  • Pietro Venetucci
Review Article


Varicocele is a fairly common condition in male individuals. Although a minor disease, it may cause infertility and testicular pain. Consequently, it has high health and social impact. Here we review the current status of interventional radiology of male varicocele. We describe the radiological anatomy of gonadal veins and the clinical aspects of male varicocele, particularly the physical examination, which includes a new clinical and ultrasound Doppler maneuver. The surgical and radiological treatment options are also described with the focus on retrograde and antegrade sclerotherapy, together with our long experience with these procedures. Last, we compare the outcomes, recurrence and persistence rates, complications, procedure time and cost-effectiveness of each method. It clearly emerges from this analysis that there is a need for randomized multicentre trials designed to compare the various surgical and percutaneous techniques, all of which are aimed at occlusion of the anterior pampiniform plexus.


Male varicocele Retrograde sclerotherapy Antegrade sclerotherapy Microsurgical subinguinal varicocelectomy Infertility False bilateral varicocele Subinguinal venous compression maneuver 



The authors thank J. A. Gilder (Scientific Communication Srl) for text editing.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Diagnostic Imaging Department—Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology, School of MedicineUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NapoliItaly

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