Altered metalloproteinase-9 expression as least common denominator between varicocele, inguinal hernia, and chronic venous disorders

Ann Vasc Surg. 2014 Apr;28(3):705-9. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2013.07.026. Epub 2013 Oct 31.


Background: Varicocele, inguinal hernia, and clinical manifestations related to chronic venous disorders are often associated, and collagen metabolism together with metalloproteinases (MMPs) alterations may be implicated. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between these factors.

Methods: We evaluated tissue and plasma samples from patients with varicocele, inguinal hernia, and great saphenous vein reflux, who underwent surgical treatment for their conditions. We then analyzed and correlated these findings with MMP levels.

Results: Significantly higher levels of MMP-1, -2, -12, and -13 were found in patients with inguinal hernia. MMP-9 levels were higher in patients with at least two of the conditions indicated.

Conclusion: MMP-9 seems to be the common thread in various clinical conditions and is related to a more general and progressive disorder of collagen metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Hernia, Inguinal / blood
  • Hernia, Inguinal / diagnosis
  • Hernia, Inguinal / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Saphenous Vein / enzymology*
  • Up-Regulation
  • Varicocele / blood
  • Varicocele / diagnosis
  • Varicocele / enzymology*
  • Venous Insufficiency / blood
  • Venous Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Venous Insufficiency / enzymology*


  • Biomarkers
  • MMP9 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9