Imaging the Infertile Male-1: Varicocele

  • Giovanni Liguori
  • Stefano Bucci
  • Carlo Trombetta
  • Boris Brkljačić
  • Michele Bertolotto
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Color doppler ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice to evaluate patients with varicocele. In order to assess correctly the extension of the disease and the characteristics of flow, the patient should be examined supine and while standing, at rest and during Valsalva’s maneuver. Several classification can be used to grade varicocele based on position of the dilated vessels and characteristics of flow. Besides color doppler ultrasound spectral analysis is important to assess reflux duration. Experimental studies showed that varicocele causes flow changes in the testicular flows, but investigation in men requires validation. While extratesticular varicocele is relatively common, intratesticular varicocele is rare. Abdominal masses may cause not compressible secondary varicocele. CT and MR imaging are usually not indicated for evaluation of varicocele, but this condition may be recognized in case of examinations performed for other purposes. Scintigraphy and thermography have no current clinical role, while venography is usually performed as a part of percutaneous sclerotherapy.


Color Doppler Ultrasound Testicular Volume Spermatic Vein Internal Spermatic Vein Venous Ectasia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Liguori
    • 1
  • Stefano Bucci
    • 1
  • Carlo Trombetta
    • 1
  • Boris Brkljačić
    • 2
  • Michele Bertolotto
    • 3
  1. 1.Department UrologyUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyDubrava University HospitalZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly

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