Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the conventional and Doppler sonographic appearances of intratesticular varicoceles and to determine their occurrence.
Subjects and methods: One thousand forty men with various testicular problems were examined using conventional and Doppler sonography, and the incidence of intratesticular varicocele and other conditions was recorded. Eighteen patients with intratesticular varicoceles were further examined, allowing us to study the various sonographic and Doppler parameters of this rare entity.
Results: Intratesticular varicocele was identified in 18 (1.7%) patients. The condition was bilateral in seven patients and unilateral in 11. Of 25 testes involved, 12 (48%) were right-sided and 14 (56%) were isolated without any ipsilateral extratesticular varicocele. The shape of the intratesticular varicocele was tubular in 21 cases and oval in five; one patient had both oval and tubular varicoceles. Diameters ranged from 2 to 8 mm (mean, 3.1 mm). Mean venous flow velocity was 2.8 cm/sec and had an inverse relationship to the diameter of the intratesticular varicocele.
Conclusion: Intratesticular varicocele is seen in fewer than 2% of the symptomatic population. The condition has a characteristic sonographic appearance of dilated tubular intratesticular veins with a proximity to the mediastinum testis. Variations from previously published reports included presentation with an oval shape, more frequent bilateral occurrence, greater number of isolated right-sided intratesticular varicoceles, and fewer associations with an extratesticular varicocele.