Korean J Urol.  1989 Aug;30(4):518-525.

Varicocele in Children and Low Teenagers: Studies on Prevalence. Scrotal Temperature and Testicular Volume

  • 1Department of Urology, College of Medicine, Youngnam University, Taegu, Korea.


Studies on the prevalence of varicocele and the relation of varicocele to scrotal temperature and testicular volume were performed on 986 healthy Korean boys 6 to 15 years of age for 5 months from the May, 1988 to September, 1988. We examined the subjects in standing position with Valsalva maneuver for detecting varicocele and classified the varicocele as grade I, grade II, or grade III according to the system proposed by Dubin and Amelar in 1970. Scrotal temperatures were measured in standing position by contact scrotal thermography using Varicoscreen, a flexible screen covered with thermosensitive liquid crystals reflecting color from brown (at 31.8 degrees C) to blue (at 34.5 degrees C). Testicular volume was measured by indirect method using series of graduated plastic models (Prade orchidometer). Following results were obtained. The overall prevalence rate of varicocele aged 6 to 15 years was 8.8%. No case of varicocele was encountered in 303 boys aged 6 to 8 years, while the incidence in the 683 subjects 9 to 15 years was 12.8% with an increase from 2.9% in 9-year-olds to 18.8% in 14-year-olds. Among 87 varicocele subjects, varicocele accounted for 75.9% in the left side, 5.7% in the right and 18.4% in both sides. And of 103 varicocele testes 51.5% were classified as grade I, 29.1 % as grade II and 19.4% as grade III. The scrotal temperature exceeded 31.8 degrees C in their contralateral normal testes. Varicocele increased scrotal temperatures not only in the affected side, but also in the other side. Scrotal temperature in varicocele testes was revealed significantly higher than that in normal (p<0.01). The degree Of varicocele bears relation to scrotal temperatures (p<0.01). In healthy Korean boys in 6-year-olds, the mean testicular volume was 1.1+/-0.4 ml. The testicular growth rapidly increased in 11-year-olds and in 15 years of age testis was 14 times larger than that of 6-year-olds. There was no volume differential between both testes in normal subjects. In the subjects with unilateral left varicocele, the testicular volume was decreased in both sides than in the normal subjects. Ipsilateral and contralateral testicular volume was most prominently decreased in grade III varicocele.


varicocele; scrotal temperature; testis volume
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