Testis and epididymis

Author: Turki Al-Hussain, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 30 November 2018, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Infertility [title] Testis and epididymis

Cite this page: Al-Hussain T. Infertility. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/testisinfertility.html. Accessed December 14th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Causes: pretesticular, testicular, posttesticular
  • Pretesticular: extragonadal endocrine disorders (hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal); includes elevated prolactin levels (Arch Pathol Lab Med 1984;108:35)
  • Testicular: little treatment currently available
  • Posttesticular: duct obstruction (congenital, inflammatory, postsurgical); surgical treatment often successful since spermatogenesis is normal
  • Note: impaired sperm motility due to epididymal or immunologic factors is considered posttesticular
  • Evaluation: history and physical examination, semen analysis, WBC count in semen, detection of antisperm antibodies, sperm function tests (cervical mucus interaction, ova penetration, hemizonal assay)
  • Testicular biopsy is helpful for azoospermia without endocrine abnormalities
  • RNA binding motif: nuclear immunostain identifies spermatogenesis in biopsies that appear to be Sertoli cell only (Hum Pathol 2001;32:36)
Diagrams / tables

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Classification of human spermatogenesis

Microscopic (histologic) images

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Tissue handling artifacts

Various images