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New investigations for male infertility

letto 6738 volte | autore: Claudio Manna, ginecologo specialista in fecondazione assistita (vai al curriculum)


Until recently diagnostics on male infertility have been based on analyses of the spermiogram that is, on the standard morphologic parameters, these being, concentration, mobility and morphology of the spermatozoa.

This information is however not sufficient to evaluate and give information on the spermatozoa’s capacity to fertilise which, seemingly, does not depend only on the above mentioned parameters.  Recently, attention is being paid to other measurable characteristics of the spermatozoa.  New tests have been put in place that are capable of  evaluating the genetic inheritance of the spermatozoon  - a quality which is closely related to the capacity, more or less, to fertilise.

Test of spermatic maturity (Sperm-Hyaluronan Binding  Assay)
This test is based on the capacity of mature spermatozoa to bind themselves to hyaluronic acid,  the opposite of immature spermatozoa which are not capable of doing this.  This capacity is acquired after the process of spermatogenesis is completed, therefore the chromosomal load has become aploid and the male gametes have undergone a series of physiological changes, these being, the elimination of the cytoplasm and the remodelling of the plasmatic membrane, making them capable of binding themselves to hyaluronic acid when they meet the receptors. This test serves to evaluate the percentage of physiologically normal and mature spermatozoa in the sample being tested.  If 80% of the spermatozoa are bound this indicates the normality of the sample:  below 80% of the spermatozoa bound indicates diminished maturity.

Test of spermatic DNA fragmentation
The normal structure of the chromatin  of the spermatozoa is an indispensable characteristic for the correct transmission of paternal genetic information and for the correct functioning of the spermatozoon.  The increase of DNA fragmentation of spermatozoa is an important cause of male infertility in that it diminishes the percentage of fertilisation, naturally and in vitro.  It is estimated that in the presence of a  DNA fragmentation index (DFI) higher than 30% it is wise to join an assisted reproduction program, choosing the ICSI technique which in these cases seems to give best results.

Spermatic Aneuploid
This test, which is also effected on the seminal liquid, serves to evaluate if the chromosomes present in the spermatozoa are present in their normal numbers, or if some of them are missing or over numbered.  It is requested mostly in the presence of poly-abortivity in the couple,  since spermatozoa that are carriers of chromosomal abnormalities can, if they can achieve fertilisation, cause abortion  problems.

Disclaimer: the information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician.

venerdì 21 marzo 2008

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