Author(s): PucheSanz I, FloresMartn JF, VzquezAlonso F, PardoMoreno PL, CzarOlmo JM
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Abstract The literature on the treatment of painful varicocoele is limited, likely because of the short period since it was recognized as a clinical entity and the limitations posed by the subjectivity of pain. Our aim was to systematically analyse the results of percutaneous embolization as the chosen treatment for this condition. We conducted a retrospective study of patients undergoing percutaneous embolization as primary treatment for painful varicocoele from January 2007 to November 2013. Radiologic and ultrasonographic successes were evaluated according to the existence or absence of venous reflux on venography after embolization and on Echo Doppler control at 3-6 months. Clinical success was assessed by Visual Analog Scale pain questionnaires before surgery and at 3-6 months; in addition, at the time of the study, telephone interviews were conducted to update the clinical situation and development. A total of 154 patients received operations. The median pain before surgery, at 3-6 months and at the time of interview was 7, 1 and 0 points respectively (p < 0.001). The ultrasonographic success rate at 3-6 months was 68.6\%. With a median follow-up of 39 months, the success and relapse/clinical persistence rates were 86.9 and 13.1\% respectively. By studying the degree of agreement between clinical success and ultrasonographic success, a kappa index = 0.443 was obtained. Patients with success recounted greater pre-operative pain scores than those who relapsed or persisted (7.5 vs. 5.0; p = 0.004). In patients with painful varicocoele, the ultrasonographic recurrence of venous reflux does not imply the recurrence of pain; hence, the proper assessment of success in these patients should include a systematic assessment of their pain and grade of reflux. Percutaneous retrograde embolization as a primary treatment for painful varicocoele is a clinically effective option with a high success rate that can be maintained in the long term, especially in patients with high pre-operative pain. © 2014 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.
This article was published in Andrology
and referenced in Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research