Can CEUS Increase or Predict the Success Rate of Testicular Sperm Aspiration in Patients With Azoospermia?

May, 2019 – American Journal of Roentgenology


OBJECTIVE. The objective of our study was to determine whether contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) perfusion measurements obtained before testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) can improve or predict sperm retrieval (SR) outcomes of TESA in patients with azoospermia.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Between May 2017 and January 2018, 70 patients with azoospermia (mean age, 29 years; age range, 22–41 years) underwent testes CEUS within 10 days before TESA. Major perfusion areas were visually chosen, and their ranges were recorded. The other areas were defined as minor perfusion. CEUS quantitative features were acquired for both the main perfusion area and whole testis. Testis tissue biopsies were taken for both major and minor perfusion areas by cognitive fusion, and SR outcomes were compared. Associations between testicular volume, quantitative CEUS features, and SR outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS. Twenty-four men were found to have obstructive azoospermia (OA), and the remaining 46 had nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA). All patients with OA had spermatozoa in biopsy. Only one patient with NOA had spermatozoa in the major perfusion area but not the minor perfusion area; the other patients with NOA had the same SR outcomes in both major and minor perfusion areas. In patients with NOA, both wash-in and washout CEUS features were correlated with the success of SR in TESA.

CONCLUSION. CEUS-guided TESA with cognitive fusion cannot yield improved SR outcomes of TESA in patients with NOA, possibly because of imprecise correlation between biopsy sites and main perfusion area analyzed by CEUS; however, quantitative CEUS features can be useful predictors of the success of SR.

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Authors: Heng Xue1, Shou-Yang Wang2, Li-Gang Cui1 and Kai Hong2

1 Department of Ultrasound, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 N Garden Rd, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, People’s Republic of China.

2 Department of Andrology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

American Journal of Roentgenology. 2019;212: 1054-1059. 10.2214/AJR.18.20436