Because few studies have described the impact of unilateral testicular trauma on fertility parameters, we review the experience at the Ben Taub General Hospital during a 16-year period. Semen and endocrine profiles were analyzed to evaluate the influence on the outcomes of orchiectomy versus testicular salvage.Materials and Methods
From 1979 to 1995, 67 patients were identified who sustained unilateral testicular trauma. Of these patients 12 were located and 10 agreed to be evaluated. Injuries included gunshot wounds, stab wounds and blunt trauma, and treatment consisted of unilateral orchiectomy or testicular repair. The study protocol comprised a history and physical examination, routine semen analysis, determination of semen and serum antisperm antibody titers (Immunobead* assay) and a modified gonadotropin stimulation test. Results were compared with a group of semen donors with proved fertility.Results
In the 7 patients who underwent unilateral orchiectomy mean sperm density was normal but significantly decreased compared with that of the fertile controls (81.6 versus 132.6 x 106/ml., p = 0.04). Sperm motility was not significantly affected. Baseline follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), and post-stimulation LH were significantly increased in this group compared with controls (p <0.01). In the group that underwent testicular repair sperm density, motility, and baseline and post-stimulation FSH and LH levels were not significantly different from controls. In all patients in both groups testosterone levels and contralateral testicular size were normal. Only 1 patient in the repair group had an elevated serum and semen antisperm titer.Conclusions
While the testicular salvage group had no significant seminal or endocrine abnormality, the orchiectomy group had a significant decrease in sperm density and elevation of baseline FSH and LH. These preliminary data suggest that testicular salvage is more protective of overall testicular function than orchiectomy.