Ultrasound-guided testicular sperm aspiration in azoospermic patients: A new sperm retrieval method for intracytoplasmic sperm injection

Alexander Belenky*, Ory M. Avrech, Gil Nissim Bachar, Zvi Zuckerman, Zion Ben Rafael, Benjamin Fisch, Maya Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. We investigated the technique of ultrasound-guided testicular sperm aspiration (USTSA) and compared it with "blind" testicular sperm aspiration (TSA) in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia. Methods. Thirty-nine consecutive azoospermic men underwent TSA, 16 under sonographic guidance (USTSA group) and 23 with no imaging guidance (TSA group). Clinical and hormonal evaluation and sonography of the scrotum and testes were performed 1-2 days before the procedure. The aspiration was done using short-term general anesthesia. Follow-up consisted of sonographic reexamination of the scrotum and testes immediately and 1 month after the procedure. Results. Intraoperative sonography with power Doppler imaging enabled good visualization of the testicular parenchyma, easy sampling, and avoidance of prominent vessels. Sufficient material was retrieved in 15 USTSA patients (94%) and 19 TSA patients (83%). No patients needed more than 4 hours' ambulatory hospitalization after the procedure. In the remaining 5 patients, aspiration failed to yield sperm, so open biopsy was performed. In those patients, postaspiration surgical exploration revealed subtunical bleeding in 3 patients after TSA but none after USTSA. Late minor complications occurred in 2 patients (13%) in the USTSA group and 7 (30%) in the TSA group. No difference was found between the 2 groups in pregnancy rate in the patients' female partners. Conclusions. USTSA is a safe and accurate method for sperm retrieval in azoospermic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-343
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Interventional radiology
  • Intraoperative ultrasonography
  • Power Doppler ultrasonography
  • Testis
  • Ultrasonographic guidance


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