Whereas no clear relationship has been observed between varicocelectomy and serum inhibin B levels in men, in adolescents comparison between inhibin B levels before and after varicocelectomy is lacking. AIM:To evaluate the effect of varicocele surgical treatment on inhibin B levels in adolescents at the beginning of puberty compared to a group of healthy adolescents. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We studied 28 adolescents in Tanner 2 pubertal stage with a grade III left-sided varicocele (patients) compared to 13 age and pubertal stage-matched healthy adolescents (controls). All patients underwent blood tests to determine serum inhibin B levels before and 6 months after varicocelectomy by Palomo procedure. For comparison we investigated inhibin B levels in controls and repeated this test 6 months later. Testicular ultrasound was performed for patients only. RESULTS: Baseline inhibin B concentrations of patients and controls were 109.90 ± 40.26 and 109.33 ± 38.34 pg/ml, respectively. No significant changes were observed in patients' inhibin B concentrations after varicocelectomy (116.00 ± 42.65 pg/ml), or in controls during the 6 months' follow-up (99.12 ± 30.09 pg/ml). Doppler examination after treatment shows a complete resolution of varicocele in all the patients without alterations in testicular parenchyma. CONCLUSIONS: Varicocelectomy performed on adolescents at T2 pubertal stage might be useful to avoid alteration in inhibin B production and consequently in testicular function. Further studies are necessary to confirm the prognostic value of inhibin B levels and the benefit of early varicocelectomy in preserving the fertility of these adolescents.
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