Adolescent varicocele: Influence of Tanner stage at presentation on the presence, development, worsening and/or improvement of testicular hypotrophy without surgical intervention

Jason P. Van Batavia, Solomon L. Woldu, Peter M. Raimondi, Benjamin A. Spencer, Beverly J. Insel, Stephen A. Poon, Kenneth I. Glassberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: Testicular asymmetry in adolescents with varicocele can worsen, remain unchanged or decrease on followup. We determined the incidence of testicular asymmetry at presentation by Tanner stage and the correlation between Tanner stage at presentation and subsequent changes in percent asymmetry (ability for catch-up growth or progressive asymmetry) without surgical intervention. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively studied the records of 115 boys with a mean age of 14.1 years (range 9.2 to 20.0) with grade 2 or 3 left varicocele who underwent testicular volume measurement at 2 visits at least that were a minimum of 6 months apart. Of the patients 92% and 8% underwent Doppler duplex ultrasound and orchidometry, respectively. Patients were divided into 2 groups, including those with less than 15% and those with 15% or greater asymmetry. Catch-up growth was defined as less than 15% asymmetry at any subsequent visit. Results: At presentation 58%, 64%, 67%, 35% and 39% of Tanner 1 to 5 cases showed 15% or greater testicular asymmetry, respectively. When Tanner 1 to 3 cases were combined and compared with Tanner 4 and 5 cases, the difference in initial asymmetry was significant (64% vs 38%, p = 0.007). Although it was not statistically significant, there was a trend toward more catch-up growth for the later Tanner stages, including 27% for Tanner 1 to 3 vs 53% for Tanner 4 and 5 (p = 0.06). Conclusions: Slightly more than 50% of children and adolescents referred with varicocele have 15% or greater testicular asymmetry at presentation. Initial asymmetry is statistically more common in cases of earlier Tanner stages (1 to 3). Adolescents with 15% or greater testicular asymmetry who present at higher Tanner stages (4 and 5) show a trend toward a higher incidence of catch-up growth, although it is not significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1727-1732
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010



  • adolescent
  • organ size
  • spermatic cord
  • testis
  • varicocele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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