A morphometric and ultrastructural study of the changes in the lamina propria in adolescents with varicocele

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Abstract

Objective

To verify if changes in the lamina propria and its components, reported in adults with varicocele, are already present in adolescents with idiopathic varicocele, using a morphometric and ultrastructural study.

Materials and methods

Twenty testicular biopsies from adolescents (mean age 15.6 years) were obtained during surgery for left idiopathic varicocele; five testicular biopsies from adolescents (mean age 16 years) undergoing surgery for hydrocele or inguinal hernia were used as controls. Biopsy specimens were processed for light and transmission electron microscopy; the sections were evaluated morphometrically using computerized image analysis.

Results

Morphometric and ultrastructural examination of the testes with varicocele showed an increased thickness in the lamina propria, caused principally by an increase in the extracellular matrix components, and deep invaginations towards the germinal epithelium.

Conclusion

There is detectable damage of the lamina propria in adolescents affected by left idiopathic varicocele, although not as well developed or as severe as in adults.

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