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Journal of Medical Sciences

Year: 2008  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 654 - 659

The Effect of Unilateral Varicocele on the Contralateral Testicular Histo-Morphology and Function in Rattus norvegicus

L.C. Saalu, P.I. Jewo, I.O. Fadeyibi and S.O. Ikuerowo


Experimental animal models have been extensively used to assess the effect of unilateral varicocele on ipsilateral testicular histology and function. There is therefore an enormous body of evidence on the detrimental effects of varicocele on the affected testis. A vacuum however still exists in our knowledge of the effects of unilateral varicocele on the contralateral testicular morphology and function. The present study evaluated the effect of left unilateral varicocele on the right testicular anatomy and physiology in Sgrague-Dawley rats (Rattus norvegicus). Fifty five immature rats were divided into two groups (group A, 45 rats and group B, 10 rats). Group A rats were rendered experimentally varicocelized by the complete ligation of their left main spermatic veins. Group B rats were sham operated to serve as control. Sixteen weeks after varicocele induction, bilateral testicular weight, bilateral testicular volume, bilateral caudal epididymal sperm characteristics, bilateral testicular histomorphometry and fertilizing capacity were all tested. The results show that left testicular weight and volume were significantly lower (p<0.05) than the right testicular weight and volume in varicocelized rats. The right testicular weights and volumes in varicocele rats were however also significantly lower (p<0.05) compared to the testicular weights and volumes of the control group. Further the sperm content and percentage motility were significantly lower (p<0.05) in the left epididymides than the right epididymides of the varicocele rats. However, the caudal epididymal sperm concentration and percentage sperm motility were significantly lower (p<0.05) bilaterally in the varicocele group compared to the control rats. Histomorphological profiles of the groups of animals parallel the sperm parameter findings. Present results indicate a bilateral derangement of testicular morphology and function with unilateral varicocele.

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