Role of oxidative stress in pathogenesis of varicocele and infertility

Urology. 2009 Mar;73(3):461-9. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2008.07.053. Epub 2009 Jan 23.


This review summarizes the published literature about the role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of varicocele and the beneficial effects of varicocele repair on oxidative stress. Literature survey was performed using the Medline, EMBASE, BIOSIS, and Cochrane databases between 1993 and 2008 that were relevant to oxidative stress and varicocele. Varicocele treatment can reduce reactive oxygen species levels and improve sperm parameters and pregnancy rates, although it is still controversial with Assisted Reproductive Techniques outcomes. We conclude that spermatozoal dysfunction in varicocele patients could be multifactorial, and oxidative stress-induced injury appears to be one of the main causes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology*
  • Infertility, Male / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Varicocele / etiology*
  • Varicocele / metabolism