Objectives: The consequences of varicocele can be dramatic, with reproduction difficulties. This survey aimed to determine the prevalence of varicocele among schoolboys at Cotonou and describe its clinical aspects.
Patients and methods: This prospective and analytical study, complying with all ethical requirements, was conducted from 1 February to 31 August 2012 on schoolboys of secondary schools in Cotonou who were aged between 10 and 19 years. The data collected included information on sociodemographic characteristics such as age and ethnicity and clinical aspect symptoms such as history, physical signs, level of sexual maturity, grade of varicocele, testicular volume, and associated anomalies.
Results: The prevalence of varicocele was 5.47% (149/2724). The ages of boys with varicocele ranged between 12 and 19 years (mean age 16.50±2.03 years). The peak prevalence of varicocele was 18 years and it varied significantly with age, ethnicity, and level of sexual development. Varicocele was symptomatic in only 28.86% of cases. The associated symptoms were scrotal weight (17.44%) and scrotal pain (14.77%), and these occurred mainly during football or intense physical effort (36.91%). Family history was remarkable in some cases. This pathology was mainly located at the left (76.51%). On the basis of the Amelar and Dublin classification, varicoceles were of grades 1, 2, and 3, respectively, in 2.25, 2.56, and 0.97% of cases. Left testicular hypotrophy was clinically noticed in 34.90% of boys affected by varicocele but with respect to severity.
Conclusion: More attention should be given to this issue by establishing a nationwide program of detection and treatment of varicocele in schools.