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01.12.2018 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Urology 1/2018

Thrombosed varicocele - a rare cause for acute scrotal pain: a case report

BMC Urology > Ausgabe 1/2018
M. Raghavendran, A. Venugopal, G. Kiran Kumar



Acute scrotal pain has various causes. Testicular torsion, torsion of appendages and Epididymo-orchitis are common causes, while varicocele thromboses are a rare cause. Varicocele thromboses can occur post operatively or spontaneously. Five cases of post-operative and five cases of spontaneous thromboses have been described till date. The traditional advice in the management of thrombosed varicocele has been to manage it conservatively in all patients by drugs and scrotal support with little description of the surgical treatment. Herein, we present an unusual sixth case of spontaneous thromboses of varicocele and discuss its presentation and surgical management. We would also like to highlight the differentiating points between spontaneous thrombosis and post operative in vitro clot formation in the varicoceles, as these two entities can often be confused for each other.

Case presentation

A 68 year-old man presented with excruciating scrotal pain of one week duration. Doppler study of scrotum revealed left varicocele with no evidence of Epididymo-orchitis. He was treated with intravenous antibiotics, analgesics and scrotal elevation. He had no relief and continued to have severe pain. Clinical examination was normal. Patient underwent exploratory surgery on a semi- emergent basis. Exploration revealed normal testis with thrombosed varicoceles. Patient underwent Varicocelectomy. Postoperatively patient had immediate pain relief. Histopathology revealed prominent thrombosed varicocele. A varicocelectomy specimen (done for primary infertility) was used for comparison. The differentiating points between the two entities were noted.


Spontaneous thrombosis of varicocele is a rare cause of acute scrotal pain. Pain out of proportion to clinical features is characteristic. Patients not responding to medical therapy may need varicocelectomy. Varicocelectomy may give immediate relief. Histopathology is useful in this disorder.
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