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Ir thermography in the diagnosis of varicocele


, : Ir thermography in the diagnosis of varicocele. Nishinihon Journal of Urology 50(1): 135-144

As a diagnostic instrument for objective evaluation and causative estimation of varicocele, infrared thermography was applied. The results are presented here, together with a brief review of previous publications. This present study consisted of 14 patients with varicocele, 16 patients with idiopathic oligozoospermia and 4 controls. The examination was started after the patients had been in an upright position for more than 15 minutes in a thermo-moist static room. The maximum and average temperatures of bilateral testis and spermatic cord regions were recorded by means of computerized JEOL 3300 thermoviewer. Then alcohol load thermography was also performed in same manner. The results obtained were as follows: 1) In varicocele patients, maximum and average temperatures of left testis and spermatic cord were detected to be more than 1.degree. C higher than those of the opposite site, while in oligozoospermia patients and control subjects, such differences in temperature were not detected. 2) The high degree regions were recognized as three types, namely at the testis, the spermatic cord, and both. 3) The addition of the hystogram mode and alcohol load thermography to the point mode increased the accuracy rate in the diagnosis of varicocele. 4) In relation to the temperature, testicular volume and semen qualities, the comparable temperature of the right testis with less than 16 ml was higher and the trend of the temperature difference between the right and left testis was to increase in patients with a sperm density of more than 10 .times. 106/ml. 5) On studying the relation between the temperature and the types of time activity curves in scrotal scintigrams, the comparable temperature of the left side was more than 1.degree. C higher in type I (left side uptake), 0.6 .apprx. 0.9.degree. C higher in type II (both sides up-take) and equal on type 0 (no up-take). The temperature of the right testis was normal in type I and about 1.degree. C higher than normal in type II. In conclusion, infrared thermography was throught to be one of the useful tools in the diagnosis of varicocele and some interesting findings obtained from this study might allow us to elucidate the etiology of male infertility.

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