Interest in radiation-related health problems has been growing with the increase in the number of workers in radiation-related jobs. Although an occupational level of radiation exposure would not likely cause azoospermia, several studies have reported the relation between radiation exposure and azoospermia after accidental or therapeutic radiation exposure. We describe a case of azoospermia in a non-destructive testing (NDT) worker exposed to radiation and discuss the problems of the related monitoring system.
A 39-year-old man who was childless after 8 years of marriage was diagnosed with azoospermia through medical evaluations, including testicular biopsy. He did not have any abnormal findings on biochemical evaluations, other risk factors, or evidence of congenital azoospermia. He had been working in an NDT facility from 2005 to 2013, attaching and arranging gamma-ray films on the structures and inner spaces of ships. The patient’s thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) badge recorded an exposure level of 0.01781 Gy for 80 months, whereas results of his florescence in situ hybridization (FISH) translocation assay showed an exposure level of up to 1.926 Gy of cumulative radiation, which was sufficient to cause azoospermia. Thus, we concluded that his azoospermia was caused by occupational radiation exposure.
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