Microscopic testicular sperm extraction or post-operative sperm reversal in functional Leydig cell tumor: case report

Zhongyan Liang, Zhanwang He, Chong Chen, Fengbin Zhang, Jingping Li, Jinggen Wu


Leydig cell tumors are rare testicular tumors in adults. Hormonal activity is found in 20% of the cases with endocrine abnormalities, which may result in azoospermia. The appropriate management to achieve oncologic control and simultaneously obtain sperm remains a challenge. A patient sought assistance with fertility after a diagnosis of azoospermia accompanied by unilateral suspected Leydig cell tumor. The patient underwent unilateral orchidectomy along with microscopic testicular sperm extraction (mTESE) for sperm identification. Rare teratospermia was found during mTESE, hormones tended to be normal, and sperm reversal appeared postoperatively. Postoperative semen examination revealed oligozoospermia, and the parameters decreased further after 3 months. The androgen rebound effect promoted sperm level over the baseline within 3 months after surgery. The anticipated sperm reversal postoperatively rather than mTESE during routine orchidectomy achieved sperm acquisition. This case particularly highlights the androgen rebound effect, which elevated the sperm level beyond baseline within 3 months after surgery. Sperm cryopreservation is thus strongly recommended 3 months postoperatively and no more than 4 months.