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William T. Belfield, M.D.
JAMA. 1925;84(1):56. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660270060033.
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To the Editor:  —Prof. Carl R. Moore of the University of Chicago has recently shown that heating of the testis causes in various mammals (ram, guinea-pig) destruction of the spermatic tubules and consequent arrest of sperm production. He says, "After exposure to 47 C. [117 F.] for five minutes, the testis, at the end of five days, is devoid of tubules that approach normal ones" (Am. J. Anat., Nov. 15, 1924, p. 351).Diathermy, with the production of a much higher temperature for a much longer period than those found destructive to animal testes by Moore, has been recommended for the treatment of epididymitis in man, apparently without warning as to the possibility of damage to the underlying testis. In one case, small testes and azoospermia were subsequently noted—whether due to diathermy or other cause could not then be determined.


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