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Comparison of spermatogenic damage induced at 6 months after ligation of the vas deferens at proximal and distal locations in the rabbit

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Recent study in rabbits demonstrated that vasectomy via the inguinal canal did not result in any spermatogenic damage 3 months postoperation; this study aimed to determine whether the damage would occur in a longer term. The left or right vas deferens was ligated near the epididymal head (unilateral proximal vasectomy, 12 animals) or via the inguinal canal (unilateral distal vasectomy, 11 animals) in adult male rabbits, with a sham operation being performed on the contralateral side. Six months postoperation, testes, epididymides and vasa deferentia were removed and methacrylate resin-embedded sections prepared to evaluate spermatogenesis by histological (qualitative) and stereological (quantitative) studies. The juxta-epididymal segment of the occluded vas deferens was severely distended (filled with sperm) in 10 of the 11 animals with distal vasectomy and moderately or slightly distended in nine of the 12 animals with proximal vasectomy. Severe spermatogenic damage occurred in seven animals with proximal vasectomy (the juxta-epididymal vas moderately or slightly distended), in only one animal with distal vasectomy (the vas not severely distended). In conclusion, spermatogenic damage occurred at 6 months postvasectomy in some animals, especially those with proximal vasectomy and therefore shorter occluded reproductive tract for sperm storage; the damage was probably intra-tract pressure mediated.
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Keywords: Epididymis; rabbit; spermatogenesis; testis; vas deferens; vasectomy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Morphometric Research Laboratory, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, Sichuan, China 2:  School Hospital, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, Sichuan, China 3:  Pathophysiological Research Laboratory, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, Sichuan, China

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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