Testis and epididymis
Nonneoplastic testicular lesions

Author: Sean Williamson, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 11 April 2017, last major update December 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: varicocele [title]

Cite this page: Varicocele. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/testisvaricocele.html. Accessed March 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Abnormal dilation and tortuosity of veins in pampiniform plexus of spermatic cord, probably due to insufficiency of venous valves
  • Often associated with infertility; after treatment, 40 - 55% are fertile
  • 90% on left; 10% bilateral
  • Isolated right sided varicocele is associated with situs inversus, venous thrombosis or venous compression from space occupying lesion
  • Adolescent varicocele: pathologic changes found at or soon after puberty, consisting of tubular sclerosis, premature germ cell sloughing, small vessel sclerosis and variable hypospermatogenesis (Am J Clin Pathol 1988;89:321)
  • Ligation or occlusion of left spermatic vein
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Variable thickening of venous wall with fibrosis, decreased spermatogenesis in tubules with germ cell degeneration and increased Leydig cells