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The effect of cryptorchidism on inhibin B in a subfertile population

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Prepubertal cryptorchidism may cause fertility problems in adulthood, due to impaired spermatogenesis. Serum inhibin B has emerged as an accurate marker of spermatogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a history of cryptorchidism on serum inhibin B levels and other markers of spermatogenesis in subfertile men. patients and measurements

 In a retrospective study, the effect of cryptorchidism on inhibin B, FSH, LH, free testosterone, testicular volume and semen parameters was assessed in a case–control study within a population of 2613 subfertile men. Of these, 161 and 102 subjects had a history of, respectively, unilateral and bilateral cryptorchidism that was treated by orchiopexy in childhood. Hormone data were complete for 64 cryptorchid patients (32 unilateral and 32 bilateral). A group of 128 patients was randomly selected out of the remaining group of 2350 men with idiopathic subfertility. An additional control group consisted of 32 fertile men from the general population. results

In cryptorchid subfertile men, inhibin B concentrations were significantly lower than in noncryptorchid subfertile men and fertile men (103 ng/l, 143 ng/l and 148 ng/l, respectively; P < 0·01). The FSH concentration was significantly higher in cryptorchid men vs. noncryptorchid men and controls (6·1 IU/l vs. 3·3 and 2·9 IU/l, respectively; P < 0·01).Testicular volumes and sperm concentration of cryptorchid men were significantly lower than in noncryptorchid subfertile men (12 vs. 15 ml, P < 0·01 and 3·8 × 106 sperm/ml vs. 17·4 × 106 sperm/ml; P < 0·05). A significantly higher inhibin B level and sperm concentration was observed in men undergoing orchiopexy at an early age (1–4 years) compared with men treated between 5 and 9 years or later (P < 0·05). conclusion

Spermatogenesis is more impaired in cryptorchid subfertile men compared to men with idiopathic subfertility, as reflected by a lower inhibin B concentration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Internal Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands,

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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