Intratesticular varicocele: evaluation using grey scale and color Doppler ultrasound
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Intratesticular varicocele is a rare condition with a variable clinical and ultrasound presentation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the grey scale and color Doppler appearances of intratesticular varicocele (ITV). Herein we present seven new cases of intratesticular varicocele. From 2003 to 2005 we evaluated 342 patients referred to our department for routine andrological evaluation by scrotal color Doppler ultrasound. We detected seven entirely asymptomatic cases of ITV by use of grey scale ultrasound. In color Doppler sonography the patients showed retrograde blood flow, either spontaneously or during Valsalva manoeuvre. In all seven cases left side ITV with testicular volume disproportion between the right and left testis (2 ml) was found. Five patients had an extratesticular varicocele. In all patients the diameters of intratesticular vein were less than 2 mm. Intratesticular varicocele is a clinically occult lesion that may occur in association with extratesticular varicocele. Further investigations are needed to clarify its clinical significance, however, considering the temperature mediated damage on the affected testis, it is our opinion that all ITV must be considered for treatment even if an extratesticular varicocele is not present.
KeywordsIntratesticular varicocele Color Doppler ultrasound Treatment