Navigation Links
Minimally invasive treatment improves male fertility

OAK BROOK, Ill. A minimally invasive treatment for a common cause of male infertility can significantly improve a couple's chances for pregnancy, according to a new study published in the August issue of Radiology. The study, conducted at the University of Bonn in Germany, also found that the level of sperm motility prior to treatment is a key predictor of success.

"Venous embolization, a simple treatment using a catheter through the groin, can help to improve sperm function in infertile men," said lead author Sebastian Flacke, M.D., Ph.D., now an associate professor of radiology at the Tufts University School of Medicine, director of noninvasive cardiovascular imaging and vice chair for research and development in the department of radiology at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. "With the patients' improved sperm function, more than one-quarter of their healthy partners were able to become pregnant."

Normally, blood flows to the testicles and returns to the heart via a network of tiny veins that have a series of one-way valves to prevent the blood from flowing backward to the testicles. If the valves that regulate the blood flow from these veins become defective, blood does not properly circulate out of the testicles, causing swelling and a network of tangled blood vessels in the scrotum called a varicocele, or varicose vein.

Varicoceles are relatively common, affecting approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of the adult male population in the U.S. According to the National Institutes of Health, most cases occur in young men between the ages of 15 and 25. Many varicoceles cause no symptoms and are harmless. But sometimes a varicocele can cause pain, shrinkage or fertility problems.

The traditional treatment for problematic varicoceles has been open surgery, but recently varicocele embolization has emerged as a minimally invasive outpatient alternative. In the procedure, an interventional radiologist inserts a small catheter through a nick in the skin at the groin and uses x-ray guidance to steer it into the varicocele. A tiny platinum coil and a few milliliters of an agent to ensure the occlusion of the gonadic vein are then inserted through the catheter. Recovery time is minimal, and patients typically can return to work the next day.

Dr. Flacke and colleagues set out to identify predictors of pregnancy after embolization of varicoceles in infertile men. The study included 223 infertile men, ages 18-50, with at least one varicocele. All of the men had healthy partners with whom they were trying to achieve a pregnancy.

In the study, 226 of the patients' 228 varicoceles were successfully treated with embolization. A semen analysis performed on 173 patients three months after the procedure showed that, on average, sperm motility and sperm count had significantly improved. Six months later, 45 couples, or 26 percent, reported a pregnancy. A high level of sperm motility before the procedure was identified as the only significant pre-treatment factor associated with increasing the odds of successful post-treatment pregnancy.

"Embolization of varicoceles in infertile men may be considered a useful adjunct to in-vitro fertilization," Dr. Flacke said.


Contact: Linda Brooks
Radiological Society of North America

Related medicine news :

1. Adoption of Minimally Invasive Prostate Cancer Treatment Options Slow
2. The AtriCure Minimally Invasive Platform Highlighted by Prominent Cardiac Surgeons and Electrophysiologists at Cardiostim in Nice, France
3. Minimally-invasive weight loss surgery improves health and morbidly obese teens
4. ATS Medical Products Prominently Featured in International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) Scientific Presentations
5. TruFUSE(R) Minimally Invasive Facet Fusion Procedure Tops 3,000 Spinal Levels
6. Study finds that minimally invasive robotic bypass surgery provides health and economic benefits
7. Minimally invasive pancreas surgery leads to fewer complications, study finds
8. Study Showed Minimally Invasive Surgery Reduced Risk of Hospital-Acquired Infections Compared to Open Surgery
9. Robot-assisted minimally-invasive CABG surgery
10. Women Can Now Learn About Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Treatments at
11. Minimally invasive fibroid treatment fares well in multicenter trial
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, ... the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity ... who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association ... it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance ... 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, ... Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves electronic ... load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016  American ... function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are no ...  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne ... needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: