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Markers of accessory sex glands function in men with varicocele relationship with seminal parameters
Centro Diagnostico de Infertilidad y Enfermedades Geneticas, Merida, Venezuela
Oct  2011 (Vol.  18, Issue  5, Pages( 5884 - 5889)
PMID: 22018150


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    Varicocele has been associated with decreased semen quality, not much is known about the effect of varicocele on the accessory sex glands function. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship among varicocele, seminal parameters and biochemical markers of accessory sex glands: neutral alpha glucosidase (NAG, epididymis), fructose (seminal vesicles), prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) and zinc (prostate).


    A clinical study was performed in 190 men with varicocele and 100 men normozoospermic as control group. Semen analysis, hypoosmotic swelling test (HOST), polymorphonuclear (PMN), fructose, zinc, PAP and NAG were determinate. Differences were evaluated by, t test, ANOVA and a Pearson’s coefficient correlation.


    Varicocele group showed a decrease in sperm motility, normal morphology, HOST and vitality. No differences were observed in fructose, PAP and zinc levels between control and varicocele group. The NAG was significantly decreased in varicocele group. A positive correlation was observed between both fructose and PAP with semen volume, sperm concentration, PMN, and zinc levels. Additionally, a decrease of NAG was correlated with a decrease of normal sperm morphology, motility, vitality and HOST.


    Varicocele does not alter fructose secretion by seminal vesicles and PAP and zinc by prostate. Varicocele is associated with a decrease of NAG activity in seminal fluid, suggesting epididymal dysfunction possibly associated with a detrimental in sperm quality.