Surgical therapy in infertile men with ejaculatory duct obstruction: technique and outcome of a standardized surgical approach.Hum Reprod. 2000 Jun; 15(6):1364-8.HR
In severe oligozoospermia or azoospermia, low ejaculate volume, low ejaculate pH and little or no fructose in seminal plasma suggest an obstruction of the seminal pathways at the level of the prostate gland, when vasal aplasia and ejaculatory disorders are excluded. We report on our standardized surgical approach in 16 consecutive patients with this condition after clinical evaluation, semen analysis, endocrine assessment, testicular biopsy and transrectal ultrasonography. Pre-operatively, sperm analysis demonstrated typical low-volume ejaculates with azoospermia in 12 and severe oligozoospermia in four cases. Ultrasonography demonstrated seven central (Müllerian) and five lateral cystic lesions. Four cases with central obstruction revealed no ultrasonographic pathology. After intra-operative vasopuncture and vasography for definite localization of the level of obstruction, transurethral incision and/or resection of ejaculatory ducts (TURED) was performed. Patency was proven in 15 out of 16 cases by 'intra-operative chromotubation'. In nine out of 12 patients, spermatozoa could be harvested intra-operatively from the vas. During the follow-up of 12 months, post-operative ejaculates showed persistent patency in six out of seven Müllerian cysts with concomitant improvement of sperm quality. Only three of the other nine cases remained patent with the worst results in lateral cystic lesions. Only two of the patients with Müllerian cysts have fathered a child so far. The data provide evidence for the effectiveness of surgical treatment of ejaculatory duct obstruction, especially in the case of central cystic lesions. The combination of surgery, cryostoring of spermatozoa retrieved intra-operatively and the possible storage of ejaculated spermatozoa post-operatively creates the possibility of subsequently using reproductive techniques if pregnancy is not achieved.