Molecular mechanisms involved in varicocele-associated infertility

Matthew M. Sheehan, Ranjith Ramasamy, Dolores J. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Varicocele is a pathologic enlargement of the pampiniform venous plexus within the spermatic cord, a condition that is a common cause of impaired sperm production and decreased quality of sperm. While varicocele is the most common surgically correctable risk factor for male infertility, not all males with varicocele experience infertility. In fact, most men with varicocele have normal spermatogenesis. Despite its prevalence, the molecular mechanisms of varicocele and its effect on testicular function are yet to be completely understood. We postulate that men with varicocele-associated infertility could have preexisting genetic lesions or defects in molecular mechanisms that make them more susceptible to varicocele-mediated testicular injury affecting spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA damage
  • Male infertility
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Varicocele
  • Varicocelectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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