Testicular growth arrest is the main criterion for performing varicocele ligation in the adolescent population. Previous assessments concerning significant size discrepancy range from 0.5 to 5 cm.3, a 10-fold difference. We prospectively assessed testicular size in 22 male adolescents (ages 9 to 19 years) with varicoceles, and compared testicular volume as measured by ultrasound and Prader orchidometer in 19 of these patients. The accuracy of ultrasound for this purpose was evaluated by blinded ultrasonic measurements of models of known volume and a standard deviation of ± 1.6 cm.3 was found. Using a size discrepancy of greater than 2 cm.3 as the criterion for growth arrest, 4 of 17 patients (24%) with growth arrest would have been missed with the Prader orchidometer alone. Testicular volumetric assessment by ultrasound accurately measured volumetric differences of greater than 2 cm.3 and can be used to determine growth arrest in the male adolescent with a varicocele.
- ultrasonic diagnosis
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