Objectives To characterize the arterial microanatomy within the spermatic cord. Methods Between June 2002 and March 2003, 72 men underwent 120 microsurgical subinguinal varicocelectomies for the treatment of varicocele. A micro-ruler was used to measure the diameter of each artery in the spermatic cord at the external inguinal ring. Results A single testicular artery was identified in 83 (69%), two testicular arteries in 32 (27%), and three arteries in 4 (3%) of 120 cases. The testicular artery diameter ranged from 0.2 to 1.9 mm (mean 1.0). A single vasal artery was identified in 117 (98%) of 120 cases, with the vasal artery diameter ranging between 0.2 and 1.8 mm (mean 0.6). A single cremasteric artery was identified in 66 (55%), two arteries in 37 (31%), and three arteries in 5 (4%) of 120 cases. The cremasteric artery diameter ranged from 0.1 to 1.5 mm (mean 0.5). The diameter of the testicular artery was equal to or greater than the sum of the vasal and cremasteric artery diameters in 69 (57.5%) of 120 spermatic cords. Conclusions The testicular artery was consistently the largest caliber arterial vessel, with a diameter equal to or greater than the sum of the vasal and cremasteric arteries in more than 50% of the spermatic cords. This suggests that although the vasal and cremasteric arteries combined contribute significantly to the testicular blood supply, the testicular artery provides most of the blood flow to the human testes. Preservation of the testicular arteries is recommended for optimal testicular blood flow.
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