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Dilatation of the veins of the pampiniform plexus of the spermatic cord, forming a soft, elastic, often uncomfortable swelling.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a nodular dilatation and elongation of veins of the spermatic cord. It appears mostly between the ages of 17 and 30. Its development is caused by the intensified flow of blood to the genitalia and its difficult outflow, for example, when the veins of the spermatic cord are compressed in the inguinal ring following physical overexertion or prolonged standing (such as in the case of barbers, floor polishers, and waiters). General weakening of the body, weakness of the venous walls, diseases of the vascular system, and other diseases are predisposing factors in the development of varicocele. It is manifested by dull, pulling pain and a sensation of heaviness in the scrotum. Treatment consists of the removal of the causes, use of a suspensory, and, in some cases, surgery.


Grebenshchikov, G. S. “Rasshirenie ven semennogo kanatika: Semennaia kista.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po khirurgii, vol. 9. Edited by B. V. Petrovskii. Moscow, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality, which can cause infertility.
The incidence of varicoceles in the genera population when evaluated by physical examination, gray scale sonography and color Doppler sonography.
Varicocele Embolisation uses coils to block blood flow to the dilated vessels in a varicocele.
Varicocele, the varicosity of the pampiniform venous plexus of the spermatic cord, represents the first cause of male infertility [7].
There is increasing acceptance that the sperm DNA fragmentation is associated with varicoceles. Several groups reported that varicoceles are associated with increased sperm DNA damage.
Varicocele repair for symptomatic varicoceles (Grade 3C)
Dohle, "Are varicoceles associated with increased deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation?," Fertility and Sterility, vol.
Although, no well-controlled series has been reported, the surgical repair of varicoceles in selected infertile patients appears to augment the percentage of motile spermatozoa, improve the total spermatozoa count and may be related to increased fertility.
Anatomical and surgical aspects in the operative management of varicocele. Urol Cutaneous Rev 1950; 54: 257-62.
McLachlan, "Relationship of serum inhibin levels to serum follicle stimulating hormone and sperm production in normal men and men with varicoceles," Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol.
Varicoceles are found in 5% to 15% of adolescent males and are seldom found in children younger than 10 years of age because the varicocele usually descends during puberty with an elevated blood flow to the scrotum (Elder, 2011).