World J Mens Health.  2022 Jan;40(1):87-103. 10.5534/wjmh.210153.

Oxidative Stress: A Comprehensive Review of Biochemical, Molecular, and Genetic Aspects in the Pathogenesis and Management of Varicocele

  • 1Department of Urology, American Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
  • 2School of Natural Medicine, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa
  • 3Fakih IVF Fertility Center, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Oxidative stress is a condition due to an imbalance between the concentrations of oxidants and antioxidants, and it is a wellrecognized contributor in several male infertility conditions. Varicocele, a common vascular condition, may cause male infertility due to hyperthermia, hypoxia and/or exposure to toxic adrenal and renal metabolites. In this review, the mechanisms by which oxidative stress can affect cellular integrity and functions are described, along with molecular markers of cellular oxidative damage, and the most commonly performed techniques for their detection in seminal fluid. Moreover, we focus on the role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of varicocele based on recently published evidence from omics based studies, such as proteomics and genomics. Finally, we discuss strategies for the management of oxidative stress and the clinical guidelines for testing oxidative stress-related sperm DNA fragmentation in this group of patients.


DNA damage; Genomics; Male infertility; Oxidative stress; Proteomics; Reactive oxygen species
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