Fast Five Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Varicoceles

Bradley Schwartz, DO


March 06, 2018

Although varicocele diagnosis may be assisted with numerous methods (eg, venography, radionuclide angiography, thermography, ultrasonography), the current standard of care is high-resolution color-flow Doppler ultrasonography. High-resolution real-time scrotal ultrasonography using a 7- to 10-MHz probe defines a varicocele as a hollow tubular structure that grows following a Valsalva maneuver. CT can demonstrate varicoceles, but exposure to radiation is a disadvantage, and the diagnostic role of MRI has not been established. Venography is usually reserved for use in patients undergoing occlusive therapy, for mapping of the venous anatomy.

No specific laboratory studies have proved useful in the evaluation of an adolescent with a varicocele. Levels of basal serum testosterone, LH, and FSH are not altered in the patient with varicocele. Semen analysis is typically not used as a clinical decision-making tool in adolescent patients because there are no well-defined semen parameters for this age group.

For more on the workup of varicocele, read here.


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