Korean J Urol.  2006 Feb;47(2):180-188. 10.4111/kju.2006.47.2.180.

The Mechanism of Damage to the Contralateral Testis Following Testicular Torsion and Detorsion in Rats and the Effect of Allopurinol Administration

  • 1Department of Urology, Seoul Municipal Boramae Hospital, Korea.
  • 2Department of Urology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hchoi@snu.ac.kr


PURPOSE: This study was performed to determine the mechanism of contralateral testis damage after repair of testicular torsion. In addition, we investigated the effect of allopurinol pretreatment on the contralateral testis damage.
The levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the testes, kidneys and serum samples were determined in rats following torsion, detorsion or detorsion after allopurinol pretreatment, as were the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the testes samples. H&E staining was performed on the testes specimens and we calculated the mean numbers of spermatids per tubule in each group.
Torsion caused a significant increase in the MDA levels in the contralateral testes, and detorsion caused a further significant increase in MDA in the contralateral testes and in the serum. Moreover, pretreatment with allopurinol prevented this further increase. The levels of SOD in the contralateral testes were not significantly different between the sham and torsion groups, whereas detorsion caused a significant reduction in SOD. In addition, pretreatment with allopurinol also prevented this decrease. The contralateral testes were histologically normal in all groups and the mean numbers of spermatids per tubule in the ipsilateral and contralateral testes were similar in all groups.
Injury of the contralateral testis after the repair of testicular torsion seems to be caused by lipid peroxidation that is due to oxygen free radicals induced by the reperfusion of ischemic torsed testis. Toxic substances such as oxygen free radicals seem to be transferred to the contralateral testes through the blood stream, and allopurinol appears to protect the contralateral testes from the injury caused by detorsion.


Testis; Torsion; Reperfusion injury; Lipid peroxidation

MeSH Terms

Free Radicals
Lipid Peroxidation
Reperfusion Injury
Spermatic Cord Torsion*
Superoxide Dismutase
Free Radicals
Superoxide Dismutase


  • Fig. 1 Microscopic features of the ipsilateral testis section. (A) The testis of the sham group. (B) The testis taken after 1 hr torsion. (C) The testis taken 2 hours following detorsion. (D) The testis of the allopurinol pretreated group. Interstitial edema with capillary dilatation, slight blood extravasation and germ cell desquamation (grade 1 injury) are observed in the ipsilateral testes except for the sham group (H&E stain, ×100).

  • Fig. 2 Microscopic features of the contralateral testis section. (A) The testis taken after 1 hr torsion. (B) The testis taken 2 hours following detorsion. (C) The testis of the allopurinol pretreated group. (D) The testis of the orchiectomy group. No abnormal findings are observed in the contralateral testes of all groups (H&E stain, ×100).

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