Thermographic Examination of the Scrotum: Physical Factors

  • C. H. Jones
  • W. F. Hendry
  • L. Hughes


The surface temperature of the scrotum is influenced by that of the testes and the underlying blood vessels. Whereas in the normal healthy male the temperature distribution is symmetrical with a warmer region over the septum, reversal of blood flow in the internal spermatic vein can cause a varicocele which may result in an abnormal temperature increase in the scrotum. IR thermography can be used to detect, measure and record the extent of this thermal abnormality.1,2 The clinical condition affects about 10% of young men3 and it occurs in about 20% of subfertile males4 when it may be associated with a variable degree of impaired spermatogenesis.5 Clinically, it may be difficult to decide upon the presence or absence of a varicocele and it is even more difficult to be sure whether the abnormality is unilateral or bilateral. Although the mere existence of a varicocele is not by itself an indication for surgery if other findings are normal, thermography can provide accurate objective evidence of disturbed scrotal temperature, which may be important in a subfertile man with evidence of impaired spermatogenesis. The results of surgery are not uniformly good and improvement in semen quality may not occur until the temperature abnormality has been corrected, which may require re-operation.6


Integrator Unit Copper Silver Impaired Spermatogenesis Internal Spermatic Vein Unite Kingdom Introduction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. H. Jones
    • 1
  • W. F. Hendry
    • 1
  • L. Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Marsden Hospital and Chelsea Hospital for WomenLondonUK

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