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A randomized trial comparing 2 doses of polidocanol sclerotherapy for hydrocele or spermatocele

Staffan Jahnson, Dag Sandblom, Sten Holmäng
Journal of Urology 2011, 186 (4): 1319-23

PURPOSE: Polidocanol sclerotherapy for hydrocele or spermatocele combines high efficiency with low morbidity, but the optimal dose is not known. We compared the efficacy and morbidity of 2 or 4 ml polidocanol sclerotherapy for hydrocele or spermatocele.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 1993 to 2005 a double-blind randomized clinical trial was conducted using 2 or 4 ml polidocanol (30 mg/ml) for sclerotherapy of hydrocele/spermatocele in 224 evaluable patients at 3 university hospitals. Fluid was evacuated and 2 or 4 ml polidocanol was administered by a nurse, with the amount injected concealed from others present. At 3-month followup morbidity was ascertained using a questionnaire completed by the patients. Fluid recurrence was determined clinically and generally re-treated.

RESULTS: After the first treatment, cure was observed in 59% and 47% in the 4 and the 2 ml group, respectively (p = 0.04). More patients in the 4 ml group had complications (31% vs 18%, p = 0.04). Complications were mostly of low or moderate intensity and seldom required medication. After 1 to 4 treatments 200 of 224 patients (89%) were cured and another 10 (5%) had small amounts of residual fluid, with no difference between the groups. Of the patients with hydroceles/spermatoceles larger than 175 ml, 58% and 34% were cured after the first treatment in the 4 and 2 ml groups, respectively (p = 0.012), with no differences in complications between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Polidocanol sclerotherapy was effective for the treatment of hydrocele or spermatocele in our patients, with 94% satisfactory results after 1 to 4 treatments. A dose of 4 ml was superior to 2 ml, particularly for larger hydroceles/spermatoceles.

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