Medical Practice

Testicular Biopsy in Evaluation of Male Infertility

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: (Published 15 September 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:577
  1. Elizabeth Meinhard,
  2. C. U. McRae,
  3. G. D. Chisholm


    Testicular biopsy findings in 100 infertile men were correlated with the clinical findings. Mild or moderately severe tubular lesions were seen in 57 cases and severe changes in 43. Clinical examination and semen analysis were no guide to the severity of the testicular lesion. Though patients with normal sized testes more commonly had mild tubular lesions, many were severe. Patients with small testes more often had severe lesions but some had only mild tubular changes. Biopsy findings in both aspermic and oligospermic patients ranged from normal to a complete loss of germinal tissue.

    Testicular biopsy is advocated in infertile men for the complete assessment of the case and for identifying those which are potentially treatable. Patients with a severe lesion can be spared further investigations. The choice and results of treatment are discussed, particularly the surgical treatment of varicocele or obstruction. Only patients with a mild or moderate testicular tubular lesion should participate in future trials with drugs for male infertility.

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