Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe
OnlineCIRSE Academy coursesEmbolisation - online coursesEndovascular management of testicular varicoceles (2021) – online course

Endovascular management of testicular varicoceles (2021) – online course


Authors: G. Makris and R. Uberoi

Reviewers: D. Filippiadis and S. Müller-Hülsbeck

This course corresponds to chapter Gonadal venous interventions in the European Curriculum and Syllabus for Interventional Radiology.



Varicoceles are abnormal dilatations of the pampiniform venous plexus draining the testicles. The incidence of varicoceles in normal healthy males is estimated to be 8-23%, with the majority of cases affecting the left side. The aetiology of the majority of varicoceles is unknown, but upstream obstructive causes should be sought. They are often asymptomatic, but may be associated with aching discomfort and infertility. Surgery has been used to treat varicoceles for over a century but over the last few decades, radiological techniques have become increasingly popular as a less invasive technique. Initially this was used where surgery had failed, but has now become the primary technique in the treatment of varicoceles.

Percutaneous embolisation was first described in 1978 by Lima et al. and subsequently many case series have been published demonstrating the safety and efficacy of this technique, especially in improving sperm count values, successful pregnancy and the improvement in pain symptoms. Interventional treatment as minimally invasive treatment offers significant advantages over surgery with less patient discomfort, rapid recovery and a relatively simple day-case procedure.

A variety of embolic agents are available for varicocele embolisation, including mechanically occlusive solid agents such as coils and plugs, as well as liquid embolic agents including sclerosants and glue, with similar reported outcomes.


Learning objectives

  • Understand the relevant anatomy
  • Understand the indications and contraindications of the technique
  • Achieve a basic understanding of the embolisation technique for the testicular varices
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of the various embolic materials


Further information

This course covers a basic level of IR knowledge and is designed for trainees, students or young consultants aiming to acquire essential knowledge or prepare for the EBIR exam. Thereby, it is tailored to the European Curriculum and Syllabus for Interventional Radiology and corresponds to chapter Gonadal venous interventions.

The format of the course is interactive and easy to use, including texts, graphics, videos and a quiz to support your learning. The course duration is around one hour.

The enrolment period of this course is linked to the validity of the All-Access Pass.

Release date: June 2021