Color Doppler ultrasound in subclinical varicocele: an attempt to determine new criteria

Eur J Ultrasound. 2000 Sep;12(1):43-8. doi: 10.1016/s0929-8266(00)00102-6.


Objective: The aim of this study is to determine new criteria in the diagnosis of subclinical varicocele in infertile patients.

Methods: A total of 208 testes in 104 patients who were infertile and had no varicocele on physical examination were studied by color Doppler ultrasonography (CDUS) with classical and new criteria. Population proportion difference test was used to compare two methods.

Results: One hundred and fourteen testes were accepted as varicocele negative in the same testes units in both methods. Ninety-four testes were varicocele positive with new criteria while 88 of these 94 testes were diagnosed also varicocele positive with the classical criteria. The value of Z* with population proportion difference test was 0.59 which is less than 1.96, which means the proportion of varicocele detection in two methods did not differ.

Conclusion: Because a gold standard that defines the presence of a subclinical varicocele has not yet been established, new criteria may be needed. However, our new criteria did not add new information to the diagnosis of subclinical varicocele in infertile patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / diagnostic imaging
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color*
  • Varicocele / complications
  • Varicocele / diagnostic imaging*
  • Varicocele / physiopathology