Testicular sperm extraction in azoospermic men submitted to bilateral orchidopexy

Luciano Negri, E. Albani, M. DiRocco, G. Morreale, P. Novara, P. E. Levi-Setti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study was carried out to evaluate whether bilateral orchidopexy represents a poor or good prognostic factor in azoospermic men undergoing testicular sperm extraction (TESE). Methods: One hundred and seven presumed non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) patients, according to conventional clinical parameters (volume of testis, FSH, clinical history) were submitted to testicular biopsy with TESE. Thirty men (28%) had a history of bilateral orchidopexy for cryptorchidism. Results: Normal spermatogenesis or mild hypospermatogenesis was diagnosed in 12/30 ex-cryptorchid patients and in 7/77 presumed NOA patients (P = 0.0004). Conversely, pure Sertoli cell-only syndrome or complete maturation arrest was found in 10/30 ex-cryptorchid patients and in 48/77 presumed NOA patients (P = 0.0094). In 53/107 patients (49.5%), TESE allowed a positive sperm retrieval. At least one spermatozoon was observed in 22/30 (∼73%) ex-cryptorchid patients and in 31/77 (∼40%) presumed NOA patients (P = 0.0026). A large number of spermatozoa (equivalent to an obstructive pathology) were retrieved in 13/30 ex-cryptorchid and in 10/77 presumed NOA patients (P = 0.001). A history of bilateral orchidopexy in presumed NOA patients correlates positively for the chance of retrieving testicular spermatozoa (odds ratio 3.8; 95% confidence interval 1.41-10.21; P = 0.008). Conclusions: Although bilateral cryptorchidism is usually considered a testicular secretive dysfunction, TESE permits retrieval of a large number of spermatozoa in almost 40% of cases. Our data suggest the existence of congenital or acquired obstructive anomalies of the seminal ducts in azoospermic orchidopexed men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2534-2539
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • Azoospermia
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Male infertility
  • Seminal duct obstruction
  • Sperm extraction
  • Testicular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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