J Korean Med Sci.  2009 Oct;24(5):849-852. 10.3346/jkms.2009.24.5.849.

Effects of Chemical Sympathectomy on Contralateral Testicular Histology and Fertility in Unilateral Vasectomy

  • 1Department of Urology, Akdeniz University, Faculty of Medicine, Antalya, Turkey. tkoksal@akdeniz.edu.tr


Unilateral obstruction or injury to the vas deferens can result in significant injury to the contralateral testicle. Although various pathways have been proposed, the mechanism of contralateral testicular deterioration remains controversial. The present animal study was performed to evaluate the effects of unilateral vasectomy on ipsilateral and contralateral testicular histology and fertility in rats that were chemically sympathectomized neonatally. The study comprised 40 male albino rats: 20 received a placebo and the other 20 underwent chemical sympathectomy neonatally. When 60 days old, each group of 20 rats was divided into two groups that underwent either a sham operation or an operation to create unilateral left vasectomy. Eight weeks after surgery, each male rat was housed with two known fertile female rats for 25 days, and then their testes were harvested. Mean seminiferous tubular diameters (MSTD) and mean testicular biopsy scores (MTBS) were determined for each testis. Although MSTD and MTBS were not significantly different between groups, chemical sympathectomy prevented the decrease in total fertility rates of the rats with unilateral left vasectomy in our study. Prevention of this decrease by chemical sympathectomy suggests that the sympathetic nervous system may play a role in the testicular degeneration associated with vasectomy.


Sympathectomy, Chemical; Vasectomy; Rats; Fertility; Testis

MeSH Terms

Fertility/*drug effects
*Sympathectomy, Chemical
Testis/drug effects/*pathology


  • Fig. 1 Mean testicular biopsy scores (MTBS) in the ipsilateral and contralateral testes in each group.

  • Fig. 2 Mean seminiferous tubular diameters (MSTD) in the ipsilateral and contralateral testes in each group.


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