Selecting patients for embolization of varicoceles based on ultrasonography
Aim: The aim of the study was to assess patient selection for embolization of varicoceles based on ultrasonography. An additional objective of the work was to evaluate the results of endovascular treatment. Material and methods: From January 2015 till August 2017, 53 patients with varicoceles diagnosed in an ultrasound examination underwent endovascular treatment in the Department of Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology in Lublin, Poland. Each ultrasound examination was performed using the Logiq 7 GE Medical System with a linear probe at 6–12 MHz using the B-mode and Doppler functions. The study was performed in both the supine and standing position of the patient. The morphological structures of the scrotum and the width of the pampiniform venous plexus were assessed. Based on clinical signs and symptoms as well as ultrasound findings, the patients were selected for endovascular treatment. This procedure involved the implantation of coils in the distal and proximal parts of the testicular vein and administration of a sclerosing agent between the coils. Results: Varicoceles were confirmed in all patients during a color Doppler scan. Diagnostic venography confirmed venous stasis or retrograde flow in the testicular vein and widened vessels of the pampiniform venous plexus over 2 mm in diameter in all patients undergoing endovascular treatment. The diagnostic efficacy of ultrasound was 100%. The technical success of the procedure was 89%. One patient had a recurrence of varicose veins (2.2%). There were no complications in any of the patients. Conclusions: Ultrasound is the preferred method in the diagnosis of varicoceles and selection for their treatment. Testicular vein embolization is a minimally invasive procedure characterized by high efficacy and safety.