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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Physiopathologic aspects of Leydig cell function in varicocele patients.

Leydig cell function was studied in 108 varicocele (V) patients with a mean age of 30.9 years, and a control group (C) of 46 men with a mean age of 30 years. Plasma gonadotropin levels were determined before and after GNRH stimulation. Testosterone ( T), 17-OH-progesterone (17-OH-P), dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estradiol (E2) were also assayed. Mean plasma T levels were significantly decreased in varicocele patients (V = 416 +/- 12.9, n = 106; C = 487 +/- 19.9, n = 40; P less than 0.01), while the basal 17-OH-P/ T ratio was significantly increased (V = 0.38 +/- 0.02, n = 56; C = 0.28 +/- 0.02, n = 40; 0.02 greater than P greater than 0.01) and remained higher after hCG stimulation (P less than 0.01). No significant differences in mean sex steroid levels were observed when comparing varicocele patients with normal sperm counts (VN) and those who had oligozoospermia (VO). There was a significant negative linear correlation between age and 17-OH-P (n = 56; r = -0.47; P less than 0.01) and T values (n = 106; r = 0.27; P less than 0.01) in varicocele patients, which contrasted with the absence of any significant correlation with age in the controls. These data suggest that the duration of idiopathic varicocele influences testicular hormone secretion.[1]


  1. Physiopathologic aspects of Leydig cell function in varicocele patients. Andò, S., Giacchetto, C., Colpi, G., Beraldi, E., Panno, M.L., Lombardi, A., Sposato, G. J. Androl. (1984) [Pubmed]
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