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October 26, 1940


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1940;115(17):1429-1433. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810430019006

The ever increasing interest in the study of male infertility has stimulated investigation of spermatozoal physiology, semen abnormalities and the pituitary-gonadal relationship, but the microscopic study of testicular tissue, accessible as it is, has been neglected.

An important step in this direction was made by Huhner1 in 1913, who advocated testicular aspiration as a diagnostic measure in instances of azoospermia. In the performance of this test, recovery of spermatozoa in the testicular aspirate connotes active spermatogenesis despite the absence of spermatozoa from the semen and indicates, by inference, the presence of obstruction in the seminal tract. While this procedure represents a step forward in the study of testicular spermatogenic function, it has its limitations. Irrespective of the caliber of the needle employed for the aspiration, it often happens that no secretion is obtained. Moreover, the specimen of testicular secretion may be devoid of spermatozoa only because the particular seminiferous