Acute spermatic cord torsion alters the microcirculation of the contralateral testis

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The purpose of this study was to characterize the hemodynamic changes in the contralateral testis during acute spermatic cord torsion in anesthetized rats. Materials and Methods: We used videomicroscopy to examine the microcirculation of the contralateral testis following acute torsion. Specifically, we examined the effect on vasomotion, a rhythmic dilation and constriction of the arterioles that is involved in fluid and nutrient exchange and modulation of local vascular resistance. In a separate set of experiments, blood flow in the contralateral internal spermatic artery was measured with an ultrasonic flow probe during acute torsion. Results: Following 720 degrees torsion, the amplitude of vasomotion in the contralateral testis increased 121% (29.0 ± 3.9% versus 13.0 ± 1.7%) compared with controls. Blood flow in the contralateral internal spermatic artery decreased 43% after 2 hours' torsion. Conclusions: Acute spermatic cord torsion altered the microcirculation by increasing the amplitude of vasomotion and decreased total blood flow to the opposite testis. Because the hydraulic resistance of a blood vessel exhibiting vasomotion is always less than a vessel with the same average but static diameter, the observed microcirculatory changes may be an adaptive response to preserve local flow in the presence of decreased total flow. The long-term consequences of these changes in the microcirculation may affect testicular function and ultimately fertility.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kolettis PN; Stowe NT; Inman SR; Thomas AJ
  • Start Page

  • 350
  • End Page

  • 354
  • Volume

  • 155
  • Issue

  • 1