GC: n

S: HLN – (last access: 21 November 2018); MD – (last access: 22 November 2018).

N: 1. Mid 18th century: from Latin varix, varic- ‘dilated vein’ + -cele.
2. Dilated veins occurring in the spermatic cord, producing swelling of the scrotum and sometimes associated with aching pain.
3. Usually appears around puberty and probably caused by an increase of arterial blood flow to the scrotal contents. Clinically manifested by constant dragging sensation or dull pain in the scrotal area.
4. Varicoceles are much more common (approximately 80-90%) in the left testicle than in the right because of several anatomic factors, including the following:

  • The angle at which the left testicular vein enters the left renal vein.
  • The lack of effective antireflux valves at the juncture of the testicular vein and renal vein.
  • The increased renal vein pressure due to its compression between the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta (ie, nutcracker effect).

5. Varicoceles vary in size and can be classified into the following three groups:

  • Large – Easily identified by inspection alone.
  • Moderate – Identified by palpation without bearing down (Valsalva maneuver).
  • Small – Identified only by bearing down, which increases intra-abdominal pressure, thus impeding drainage and increasing varicocele size.

S: 1. OD – (last access: 22 November 2018). 2. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 21 November 2018). 3. GDT – (last access: 21 November 2018). 4 & 5. MD – (last access: 22 November 2018).


CR: urology