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- Effect of varicocelectomy on sperm functional characteristics and DNA methylation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Andrologia 2014 Sep 19.
In individuals with varicocele, DNA is damaged due to high level of oxidative stress, and varicocelectomy can overcome this effect. Damaged DNA is less liable to DNA methylation, and antioxidant therapy appears to have the potential to reduce sperm oxidative stress and DNA damage and thereby maintain DNA methylation, while effect of varicocelectomy on DNA methylation patterns has remained unclear. In the light of these considerations, we aimed to examine the effect of varicocelectomy on sperm DNA methylation and functional characteristics. Fifty-two men with left-sided varicocele (grade II &III) were included. Sperm parameters, DNA fragmentation, protamine deficiency, oxidative stress and global DNA methylation were evaluated before and 3 months after surgery. Our data show that sperm concentration, percentages of spermatozoon with abnormal morphology, DNA fragmentation, protamine deficiency and oxidative stress significantly improved after surgery. Percentage of sperm motility, global DNA methylation and intensity of DNA methylation also improved after surgery, although the differences were not significant when compared with before surgery. Categorisation of individuals to subgroups revealed that improvement of DNA methylation appears to take place in oligozoospermic individuals, which are more severely affected by state of varicocele. However, this is a preliminary study, and further studies are required to solidify this conclusion.
- The role of the antisperm antibodies in male infertility assessment after microsurgical varicocelectomy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Andrology 2014 Sep 15.
Antisperm antibodies (ASA) are a cause of male infertility. ASA are often found in varicocele patients. The study objective was to assess the ASA role in fertility recovery after varicocelectomy. The longitudinal study involved 99 patients with varicocele. Patients were examined according to the WHO recommendations; ASA level was measured using the direct method of Sperm MAR test: 66 patients were ASA-negative, 33 had MAR-IgG ≥ 10%. All patients underwent microsurgical varicocelectomy. Student's t-test, Wilcoxon test, Chi-squared test and signed rank test were used for data analysis. The retrospective analysis of all operated patients data showed that the patients without spermiogram improvement after varicocelectomy had higher ASA levels. 3 months after the surgery, the initially ASA-negative varicocele patients demonstrated 2.5 times increase in number of progressive motile spermatozoa in the ejaculate (p < 0.001), accompanied by 6% decrease in abnormal sperm count (p < 0.05); the spermiogram parameters improved in 77% of cases (p < 0.01). After the surgery, ASA developed in 16% of cases (Max - MAR-IgG = 12%). The patients who were initially ASA-positive demonstrated ASA decrease only in half of the cases (16 of 33; p > 0.05). The main outcome in this group was a favourable response to the surgery (ASA level decrease) vs. no reduction in autoimmune process. The improvement in the ASA-positive group was demonstrated in the patients with higher varicocele grade (median - 2 vs. 1; p < 0.05) and lower ASA level (MAR-IgG = 48% vs. 92%; p < 0.01). The pregnancy rate within a year after surgery was 2.8 times more frequent in couples with ASA-negative men: 39% (25 of 65) in the ASA-negative group compared to 14% (4 of 28) in the ASA-positive group (p < 0.05). Thus, antisperm immune response decreases the varicocelectomy efficacy for reproductive function recovery: the higher percentage of ASA and lower grade of varicocele are associated with an unfavourable prognosis.
- A simple sperm nuclear vacuole assay with propidium iodide. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Andrologia 2014 Sep 13.
Our aim was to develop a new simple sperm nuclear vacuole assay (SNVA) with propidium iodide (PI) to determine the status of nuclear vacuole (NV) of individual spermatozoa. After PI staining, sperm nuclei were classified into the 14 categories according to both nuclear morphology and the status of NV. The incidence was 57.8% (range 28-84%) in fertile controls (n = 40), and 85.1% (range 67-99%) in men with varicocele (n = 40). In the fertile group, normal nuclear-shaped spermatozoa without NV or with one small NV located in the ante-nuclear region were significantly more in comparison with the varicocele group. In the varicocele group, abnormal nuclear-shaped spermatozoa with one large NV and with multiple NVs located in the ante-nuclear region were most frequent findings. Besides, spermatozoa with NVs in both ante- and post-nuclear regions in the varicocele group were significantly more than those in the fertile group. In both fertile and varicocele groups, normal or abnormal nuclear-shaped spermatozoa with one or more vacuoles only located in the post-nuclear region occurred sparingly. The SNVA provides a useful additional approach to identify the status of NV in human spermatozoa for diagnostic purposes. A good sperm sample would have more spermatozoa without NV or with one small NV located in the ante-nuclear region.
- Surgical and endovascular interventions for nutcracker syndrome. [REVIEW]
- Semin Vasc Surg 2013 Dec; 26(4):170-177.
Nutcracker syndrome is a rare condition of left renal vein entrapment manifesting with hematuria, flank pain, and, occasionally, pelvic congestion in females or varicocele in males. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion upon careful history delineation. The gold standard for definite confirmation remains venography with renocaval pressure gradient. Treatment is mainly guided by the severity of symptoms. For the majority of centers, it appears that surgery remains the first-line therapy, however, endovascular alternatives are rapidly evolving into the field with favorable outcomes. This article reviews current concepts on nutcracker syndrome with particular focus on contemporary surgical and endovascular techniques and their outcomes.
- [Surgery of male infertility: an update.] [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Urologia 2014 Sep 12; 0(0):0.
Surgery for male infertility includes three main areas: varicocele surgery, recanalization of seminal tract, sperm retrieval.Varicocele treatment in infertily is still controversial. Recent scientific evidence appears to demonstrate that in selected cases varicocele treatment is beneficial in improving semen parameters and pregnancy rate. The key for the success of treatment seems to be a correct indication. It is our opinion that varicocele should be treated in presence of abnormal semen parameters, when clinically significant, and in adolescents with atrophy of the affected testis. So far, no specific technique, either surgical, microsurgical or sclerotherapic, can be considered the gold standard. Good results in our hands have been obtained with the microsurgical lymphatic sparing high ligation of internal spermatic vein.Innovations in surgery for seminal tract obstructions include the new tubular invagination techniques for epididimovasostomy, which showed excellent results with a simplified and time-saving microsurgical approach. In distal obstructions, a new transperineal ultrasound-guided approach has been proposed for the diagnostic work-up and treatment. Advantages of this technique and of the TURED must be balanced with those of immediate sperm retrieval for ART.In sperm retrieval, microTESE represents the most important surgical evolution in non-obstructive azoospermia. We have recently proposed a new stepwise approach starting with a minimal equatorial incision for conventional testicular biopsy which is extended to perform microTESE only when no sperm is retrieved. In this way microTESE is offered only to patients who really need it. Another field of innovation is sperm retrieval for ICSI in patients with Klinefelter Syndrome.
- [The varicocele: the proper therapy for the proper patient.] [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Urologia 2014 Sep 9; 81(3):165-168.
Varicocele is present in 15% to 20% of the general population, but in approximately 35% to 40% of males presenting for an evaluation of their infertility. Indeed it is well known that varicocele can cause testicular damage and infertility. No evidence indicates a varicocele treatment in infertile men who have normal semen analysis or in men with subclinical varicocele. In this situation, varicocelectomy cannot be recommended. Varicocele repair may be effective in men with subnormal semen analysis, a clinical varicocele and otherwise unexplained infertility, but we need further randomized studies to confirm that this subgroup of infertile couples will benefit from treatment. There is no doubt about the standard indications of varicocelectomy, but recent literature seems to go towards new indications of varicocele repair. The aim of this review is to give a look at the literature to analyze the proper indications to varicocelectomy for the proper patient.
- Effects of Varicocele on Serum Testosterone and Changes of Testosterone After Varicocelectomy: A Prospective Controlled Study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Urology 2014 Sep 8.
To examine the hypotheses that clinical varicoceles affect baseline serum total testosterone levels (T) and varicocelectomy improves T.This prospective, nonrandomized, controlled study involved 4 groups of adult men. Varicocele-infertile treatment group (VIT) included 66 men who underwent varicocelectomy. Thirty-three varicocele-infertile control men (VIC) and 33 varicocele-fertile control men (VFC) were only observed. Normal-control (NC) group included 33 fertile men without varicocele. Varicocele groups were stratified into baseline hypogonadal (T <300 ng/dL) or eugonadal (T ≥300 ng/dL) subgroups. Main outcome measurements were between-group baseline T differences; and within-group T changes at 6- and 12-month follow-ups of men with varicocele. P <.05 was considered significant.Means (standard deviations) of baseline T in VIT, VIC, VFC, and NC were 347.4 (132.1), 339.7 (125.8), 396.6 (164.9), and 504.8 (149.7) ng/dL, respectively. The baseline T levels of varicocele groups were comparable, whereas they were significantly low compared with NC group. At 6-month follow-up, VIT demonstrated significant T improvements (mean change = 44.7 ng/dL; 12.9%; P <.0001). T changes were more remarkable among baseline hypogonadals (mean change = 93.7 ng/dL; 40.1%; P <.0001) compared with eugonadals (mean change = 8.6 ng/dL; 2.01%; P = .1223). These improvements were persistent at 12-month follow-up. Contrariwise, VIC and VFC exhibited nonsignificant T changes. Postvaricocelectomy T changes correlated significantly and inversely with baseline T (r = -0.689; P <.0001). This correlation was stronger and more significant among hypogonadals (r = -0.528; P = .004) than eugonadals (r = -0.400; P = .013). T improvements also exhibited significant positive correlations with preoperative and postoperative sperm concentrations.Baseline T was significantly low in men with varicocele compared with normal men. Varicocelectomy yielded significant T improvements among hypogonadal men but insignificant changes in eugonadals. T changes correlated strongly and significantly with baseline T and sperm concentrations.
- [Level of DNA fragmentation in human sperm cells in varicocele and prostatitis]. [English Abstract, Journal Article]
- Urologiia 2014 May-Jun; (3):37-43.
Varicocele and prostatitis are the most common andrological diseases, which may be accompanied by a decrease in the production of sperm cells, the deterioration of their quality and increased risk of infertility. This work was aimed to the evaluation of sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI) and main indices of sperm fertility (concentration, motility and morphology), and the relationship between these parameters in the men of active reproductive age suffering from prostatitis or varicocele. Assessment of sperm DNA fragmentation was performed by SCSA (sperm chromatin structure assay) using flow cytometry; sperm parameters were evaluated according to WHO recommendations. It was shown that men with prostatitis (n = 9) and varicocele (n = 22) had significantly higher DFI compared with men in the control group (n = 22). Negative influence of these diseases on the concentration and the percentage of motile sperm cells in the ejaculate was revealed. These data suggest that the deterioration in the quality of semen in varicocele and prostatitis may be caused not only by pathospermia, but also, at least partially, by violation of the integrity of the sperm DNA. Evaluation of sperm DNA fragmentation can be recommended for use in laboratory diagnostics for prediction of fertility in infertile men.
- Magnetic activated cell sorting: an effective method for reduction of sperm DNA fragmentation in varicocele men prior to assisted reproductive techniques. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Andrologia 2014 Sep 11.
Semen parameters of varicocele men have been usually suspected to exhibit higher levels of abnormalities including DNA fragmentation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptotic markers. Negative correlation between increased level of DNA fragmentation and assisted reproductive techniques (ART) outcome has been studied by several authors. In the current study, we aim to evaluate the possible value of magnetic activated cell sorting (MACs) technology in reduction of DNA fragmentation in infertile varicocele patients prior to ART. Semen samples, collected from 36 varicocele patients, were prepared by density gradient centrifugation (DGC). Every sample was subsequently divided into two aliquots. One aliquot was kept untouched as pre-MACs control while the other aliquot was subjected to MACs technique, for depletion of apoptotic spermatozoa, and serves as post-MACs test. Sperm count, motility and DNA fragmentations were evaluated for both control and test samples. Post-MACs samples showed no deleterious reduction in total sperm motility (80.64 ± 6.97%) compared with control samples (80.97 ± 7.74%) while sperm DNA fragmentations were significantly reduced in post-MACs samples (9.61 ± 5.62%) compared with pre-MACs controls (12.43 ± 6.29%) (P < 0.05). It can be concluded that MACs technique is a simple, noninvasive, technique that can efficiently reduce DNA fragmentation in infertile varicocele patients prior to ART.
- Comparison of arterial blood supply to the testicles in the preoperative and early postoperative period in patients undergoing subinguinal varicocelectomy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Scand J Urol 2014 Sep 8.:1-5.
Abstract Objective. Varicocele, which is the abnormal dilatation of internal spermatic veins, is known as the most surgically correctable cause of male infertility. In the evaluation of testicular arterial and venous blood supply, the scrotal colour Doppler ultrasound (CDU) is a valuable diagnostic method. The aim of this study was to investigate how the testicular blood flow is affected after varicocelectomy, and the place of scrotal CDU in the follow-up after varicocelectomy. Material and methods. Thirty male patients who were diagnosed with left-sided varicocele were prospectively included in the study. Before the varicocelectomy, semen analyses were carried out, and peak systolic velocity (PSV), end-diastolic velocity (EDV), resistive index (RI) and pulsatility index (PI) were measured by CDU. In the third postoperative month, scrotal CDU and semen analysis were performed again and compared with the preoperative results. Results. The arterial flow parameters PSV and EDV increased significantly, and the resistance parameters RI and PI decreased significantly, compared with the preoperative values. Sperm concentration, progressive motility and normal morphology improved in the postoperative semen analysis compared with the preoperative results. The increases in all three parameters were statistically significant. No statistically significant difference in vascular parameters was seen between the patients with improved and unimproved semen analysis. Conclusions. As confirmed by the results of semen analysis and CDU, testicular blood flow increases after varicocelectomy, resulting in the recovery of the haemodynamics of the testicle. CDU, which is generally used for diagnosis in the varicocele, can also be a valuable method of determining treatment success after surgery.