Predictive value of testicular histology in secretory azoospermic subgroups and clinical outcome after microinjection of fresh and frozen-thawed sperm and spermatids

Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal.
Human Reproduction (Impact Factor: 4.57). 08/2002; 17(7):1800-10. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/17.7.1800
Source: PubMed


A retrospective study was carried out on 159 treatment cycles in 148 secretory azoospermic patients to determine whether histopathological secretory azoospermic subgroups were predictive for gamete retrieval, and to evaluate outcome of microinjection using fresh or frozen-thawed testicular sperm and spermatids.
Sperm and spermatids were recovered by open testicular biopsy and microinjected into oocytes. Fertilization and pregnancy rates were assessed.
In hypoplasia, 97.7% of the 44 patients had late spermatids/sperm recovered. In maturation-arrest (MA; 47 patients), 31.9% had complete MA, and 68.1% incomplete MA due to a focus of early (36.2%) or late (31.9%) spermiogenesis. Gamete retrieval was achieved in 53.3, 41.2 and 93.3% of the cases respectively. In Sertoli cell-only syndrome (SCOS; 57 patients), 61.4% were complete SCOS, whereas incomplete SCOS cases showed one focus of MA (5.3%), or of early (29.8%) and late (3.5%) spermiogenesis. Only 29.8% of the patients had a successful gamete retrieval, 2.9% in complete and 77.3% in incomplete SCOS cases. In total, there were 87 ICSI, 39 elongated spermatid injection (ELSI) and 33 round spermatid injection (ROSI) treatment cycles, with mean values of fertilization rate of 71.4, 53.6 and 17%, and clinical pregnancy rates of 31.7, 26.3 and 0% respectively.
Histopathological subgroups were positively correlated with successful gamete retrieval. No major outcome differences were observed between testicular sperm and elongated spermatids, either fresh or frozen-thawed. However, injection of intact round-spermatids showed very low rates of fertilization and no pregnancies.

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