Elastographic and morphological testicular changes in hypothyroidism – an experimental study

Open access


Introduction: Methimazole-induced hypothyroidism is a clinical problem in the treatment of hyperthyroidism in people and animals and is an example of metabolic disease that can lead to fertility disorders and can give elastographic testicular changes.

Material and Methods: Ultrasound elastography using the Esaote MyLab Twice ultrasound system and a morphological examination of testes were performed in seven methimazole-administered (group E) and seven healthy rats (group C).

Results: The elasticity ratio of strains in the scrotal wall of the near-field test area to testicular tissue (ELX-T-RAT) and hardness percentage of strained tissues in the defined area of a testicle (ELX-T%HRD) in group E were statistically significantly lower than in group C. The degree of spermatogenesis was statistically significantly higher in group E than in group C and similarly seminiferous tubule diameters in group E were statistically significantly higher than in group C. Body weight and testicular weight in group E were statistically significantly lower than in group C.

Conclusion: Changes in the elastographical parameters of testes may result from disorders secondary to hypothyroidism. The usefulness of elastography is noteworthy in the case of evaluation of testis function in patients with some metabolic disorders.

1. Ai J., Zarifkar A., Takhshid M.A., Alavi J., Moradzadeh M.: The effect of thyroid activity on adult rat spermatogenesis. Iran J Vet Res 2007, 8, 155–160.

2. Aigner F., de Zordo T., Pallwein-Prettner L., Junker D., Schafer G., Pichler R., Leonhartsberger N., Pinggera G., Dogra V.S., Frauscher F.: Real-time sonoelastography for the evaluation of testicular lesions. Radiology 2012, 263, 584–589.

3. Azizi F., Ataie L., Hedayati M., Mehrabi Y., Sheikholeslami F.: Effect of long-term continuous methimazole treatment of hyperthyroidism: comparison with radioiodine. Eur J Endocrinol 2005, 152, 695–701.

4. Choo Y.K., Yoo W.S., Kim D.W., Chung H.K.: Hypothyroidism during antithyroid drug treatment with methimazole is a favorable prognostic indicator in patients with Graves’ disease. Thyroid 2010, 20, 949–954.

5. Clermont Y., Harvey S.C.: Duration of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium in normal, hypophysectomized and hypophysectomized hormone treated albino rats. Endocrinology 1965, 76, 80–89.

6. Ding J., Shang X., Zhang Z., Jing H., Shao J., Fei Q., Raybum E.R., Li H.: FDA-approved medications that impair human spermatogenesis. Oncotarget 2017, 8, 10714–10725.

7. Donnelly P., White C.: Testicular dysfunction in men with primary hypothyroidism; reversal of hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism with replacement thyroxine. Clin Endocrinol 2000, 52, 197–201.

8. Donnelly P., Tan K., Winch D.: Inhibin B levels in hypothyroid males. Thyroid 2013, 3, 1379–1382.

9. Goddi A., Sacchi A., Magistretti G., Almolla J., Salvadore M.: Real-time tissue elastography for testicular lesion assessment. Eur Radiol 2012, 22, 721–730.

10. Gołyński M., Lutnicki K.: Influence of β–endorphin on oxygen activity of neutrophils and total antioxidant status in rats after chronic administration of methimazole. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy 2013, 57, 97–101.

11. Gołyński M., Szczepanik M., Lutnicki K., Adamek Ł., Gołyńska M., Wilkołek P., Sitkowski W., Kurek Ł, Dębiak P.: Biophysical parameters of rats skin after the administration of methimazole. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy 2014, 58, 315–319.

12. Gołyński M., Szpetnar M., Tatara M.R., Lutnicki K., Gołyńska M., Kurek Ł., Szczepanik M., Wilkołęk P.: Content of selected amino acids in the gastrocnemius muscle during experimental hypothyroidism in rats. J Vet Res 2016, 60, 489–493.

13. Grasso M., Blanco S., Raber M., Nespoli L.: Elasto-sonography of the testis: preliminary experience. Arch Ital Urol Androl 2010, 82, 160–163.

14. Jędrzejewski G., Wieczorek A.P.: Multiparametric ultrasonography of the pediatric scrotum and in boys with undescended testes. J Ultrason 2013, 13, 425–430.

15. Johnsen S.G.: Testicular biopsy score count – a method for registration of spermatogenesis in human testes: normal values and results in 335 hypogonadal males. Hormones 1970, 1, 2–25.

16. Kallner G., Vitols S., Ljunggren J.G.: Comparison of standardized initial doses of two antithyroid drugs in the treatment of Graves’ disease. J Intern Med 1996, 239, 525–529.

17. Kim I., Kim E., Yoon J.H., Han K.H., Son E.J., Moon H.J., Kwak J.Y.: Diagnostic role of conventional ultrasonography and shearwave elastography in asymptomatic patients with diffuse thyroid disease: initial experience with 57 patients. Yonsei Med J 2014, 55, 247–253.

18. Konofagou E.E.: Quo vadis elasticity imaging? Ultrasonics 2004, 42, 331–336.

19. Li M., Li F.H., Du J., Wang Z.Q., Zheng J.F., Li Z., Ping P.: Quantitative analysis by real-time elastosonography for the differential diagnosis of azoospermia: preliminary application. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue 2012, 18, 35–38.

20. Okdach Y.A.: Methimazole affected spermatogenesis and enhanced proliferation of testicular macrophages in albino rats. World J Pharm Sci 2013, 1, 55–60.

21. Rocher L., Criton A., Gennisson J.L., Izard V., Ferlicot S., Tanter M., Benoit G., Bellin M.F., Correas J.M.: Testicular shear wave elastography in normal and infertile men: a prospective study on 601 patients. Ultrasound Med Biol 2017, 43, 782–789.

22. Sakr H.F., Abbas A.M., Elsamanoudy A.Z., Ghoneim F.M.: Effect of fluoxetine and resveratrol on testicular functions and oxidative stress in a rat model of chronic mild stress-induced depression. J Physiol Pharmacol 2015, 66, 515–527.

23. Samplaski M.K., Nagina A.K.: Adverse effects of common medications on male fertility. Nat Rev Urol 2015, 12, 401–413.

24. Silva D., Lizama C., Tapia V., Moreno R.D.: Propylthiouracil-induced hypothyroidism delays apoptosis during the first wave of spermatogenesis. Biol Res 2014, 44, 181–188.

25. Tahmaz L., Gokalp A., Kibar Y., Kocak I., Yalcin O., Ozercan Y.: Effect of hypothyroidism on the testes in mature rats and treatment with levothyroxine and zinc. Andrologia 2000, 32, 85–89.

26. Wagner M.S., Wajner S.M., Maia A.L.: The role of thyroid hormone in testicular development and function. J Endocrinol 2008, 199, 351–365.

27. Zhang X., Lv F., Tang J.: Shear wave elastography (SWE) is reliable method for testicular spermatogenesis evaluation after torsion. Int J Clin Exp Med 2015, 8, 7089–7097.

Journal of Veterinary Research

formerly Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR J Vet Res 2017: 0.811

CiteScore 2017: 0.68

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.29
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.484


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 50 50 26
PDF Downloads 40 40 20