In search of an efficient injection technique for future clinical application of spermatogonial stem cell transplantation Infusion of contrast dyes in isolated cadaveric human testes

Different injection methods and sites were used to evaluate the feasibility of human testes injection. A single ultrasound-guided injection of 800 mL in the rete testis was efficacious.


Liang Ning, M.D., Ph.D., Jie Meng, M.D., Ellen Goossens, Ph.D., Tony Lahoutte, M.D., Ph.D., Miriam Marichal, M.D., Ph.D., Herman Tournaye, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 98, Issue 6, Pages 1443-1448.e1, December 2012



To develop an efficient infusion technique for human spermatogonial stem cell transplantation.


A mixture with ultrasonic contrast, CT contrast and Chinese ink was injected into isolated human testes through different sites: the rete testis, the head of the epididymis, the deferent duct and blind testicular infusion. Ultrasound transducer was used to visualize the injection site and to observe the flow of the mixture injected in the testes. Then, micro CTscan was used to construct 3-D images, allowing the calculation of the testicular volume filled by the mixture. Finally the efficiency of infusion was evaluated on histological sections.


Research laboratory.


Cadaver testes obtained from autopsied bodies at the department of pathology.


Ultrasound-guided infusion of contrast liquid.

Main Outcome Measures:

Contrast liquid filled testis volume and presence of ink in seminiferous tubules.


Ultrasonography clearly visualized the flow when seminiferous tubules were injected form the rete testis. No flow was observed when infusions were made either blindly or into the deferent duct or into the head of the epididymis. On micro CT no significant differences were observed between the different volumes. After rete testis infusion, ink particles were found in the lumen of the rete testis and in tubules both close and distant from the rete testis.


A single ultrasound-guided injection of 800 μl in the rete testis may provide a promising method to transplant human SSCs in a clinical setting.

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