Testicular volume (TV) is proposed to be a positive predictor of male fertility status, because of the relation known between the TV and the seminiferous tubule content. Independently of the measurement methodology, the role of TV and testicular ultrasound (US) assessments is still debated in andrological clinical practice. In this retrospective cohort study, we evaluated TV and testis US role in the diagnostic workup of andrological patients. All consecutive outpatients undergoing single-operator testis US (Modena, Italy) from March 2012 to March 2018 were enrolled, matching sonographic, hormonal, and seminal data. A total of 302 men were referred and evaluated for gynecomastia, suspected hypogonadism, couple infertility (CI), or sexual dysfunction. In the hypogonadal group, TV was lower compared to that in other groups (P < 0.001), and a significant, direct correlation between TV and testosterone level was observed in nonandrogen-treated patients (R = 0.911, P < 0.001), suggesting that testicular size could be related to the testosterone-secreting compartment. In the CI group, normozoospermic patients showed higher TV compared to men with impaired semen quality (P = 0.003) and azoospermia (P = 0.003). However, TV was not able to discriminate between patients presenting normal and altered semen quality. On the contrary, testis US inhomogeneity was more frequent in patients with impaired sperm quality (55.0%; P = 0.007) and azoospermia (40.0%; P = 0.012), compared to patients with normozoospermia (5%), identifying thereby the sonographic pattern as an informative parameter of the fertility status. Therefore, in the CI workup, US evaluation seems to be more informative than the TV assessment alone.
Asian journal of andrology. 2019 Jul 02 [Epub ahead of print]
Giorgia Spaggiari, Antonio R M Granata, Daniele Santi
Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena 41126, Italy., Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Medical Specialties, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria of Modena, Ospedale Civile of Baggiovara, Modena 41126, Italy.