Varicocele is the most widespread andrological disease and also the most frequent cause of infertility in men. Inhibin-B is secreted from Sertoli cells under germ cell control. It is accepted as the most important marker for normal spermatogenesis.
Aim of the work
The aim of the study was to evaluate the serum and seminal plasma inhibin-B level in infertile men with varicocele and to compare its level with normal fertile men, in addition to its level with serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and seminal parameters.
Patients and methods
Twenty-five infertile patients with varicocele were collected from the outpatient clinic of Dermatology and Venereology Department, Tanta University Hospital, in addition to 15 healthy fertile men with normal semen analysis and without varicocele. They were subjected to complete history taking, thorough general and genital examination, semen analysis, and determination of serum and seminal plasma inhibin-B and serum FSH level by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
This study did not show significant differences in serum and seminal plasma inhibin-B level between varicocele patients and controls. Moreover, serum inhibin-B was not correlated with seminal parameters, whereas seminal plasma inhibin-B exhibited a significant positive correlation with sperm count and a significant negative correlation with abnormal sperm forms. In contrast, no significant correlation could be detected between serum and seminal plasma inhibin-B and serum FSH in varicocele patients.
Seminal plasma inhibin-B is a good marker of spermatogenesis in infertile patients with varicocele, but no relationship was found between serum inhibin, seminal plasma inhibin, and FSH. Hence, further studies are needed to elucidate whether varicocele, a frequently found pathology, may add to its multifactorial etiology an alteration in the negative feedback mechanism involved in the FSH.