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Epidemiologic and clinical aspects of varicocele among adolescent schoolboys at Cotonou

Fiogbe, Michel A.a; Gbenou, Antoine S.b; Alao, Julesc; Mitchihoungbe, Sergeb; Gbenou, Dinad; Bankole-Sanni, Roumanatoue

doi: 10.1097/01.XPS.0000433917.86929.e5
Original Articles

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.

aPediatric Surgery Service of National Teaching Hospital (CNHU)

bPediatric Surgery Service of Mother and Child Hospital of Lagune (HOMEL)

cPediatric Medical and Genetic Service of Mother and Child Hospital of Lagune (HOMEL)

dWHO Representative Office, Cotonou

ePediatric Surgery Service of Teaching Hospital (CHU) of Treichville, Abidjan

Correspondence to Michel A. Fiogbe, Pediatric Surgery Service of National Teaching Hospital (CNHU), 02 BP8229 Cotonou, Benin Tel: +229 90 90 15 19/+229 94 05 41 49; fax: +229 21 30 40 96; e-mail:

Received February 21, 2013

Accepted August 22, 2013

© 2013 Annals of Pediatric Surgery