Testicular Microvascular Flow Is Altered in Klinefelter Syndrome and Predicts Circulating Testosterone
Carlomagno F., Pozza C., Tenuta M., Pofi R., Tarani L., Sesti F., Minnetti M., Gianfrilli D., Isidori AM.
Context: Experimental studies on Klinefelter syndrome (KS) reported increased intratesticular testosterone (T) levels coexisting with reduced circulating levels. Abnormalities in testicular microcirculation have been claimed; however, no studies investigated in vivo testicular blood flow dynamics in humans with KS. Objective: To analyze the testicular microcirculation in KS by contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) and correlate vascular parameters with endocrine function. Design and Setting: Prospective study. University setting. Patients: Sixty-eight testicular scans, 34 testes from 19 T-naïve subjects with KS and 34 testes from age-matched eugonadal men (control) who underwent CEUS for incidental nonpalpable testicular lesions. Main Outcomes: CEUS kinetic parameters. Results: CEUS revealed slower testicular perfusion kinetics in subjects with KS than in age-matched controls. Specifically, the wash-in time (P=0.018), mean transit time (P=0.035), time to peak (P<0.001), and wash-out time (P=0.004) were all prolonged. Faster testicular blood flow was associated with higher total T levels. Principal component analysis and multiple linear regression analyses confirmed the findings and supported a role for reduced venous blood flow as independent predictor of total T levels. Conclusions: Testicular venous blood flow is altered in KS and independently predicts T peripheral release.