Sperm chromosome abnormalities in men with severe male factor infertility who are undergoing in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection

J Levron, A Aviram-Goldring, I Madgar, G Raviv, G Barkai, J Dor
Fertility and Sterility 2001, 76 (3): 479-84

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the potential paternal contribution to the risk of fetal chromosomal anomalies after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

DESIGN: Spermatozoa isolated from testicular tissue and ejaculated specimens of consenting patients undergoing testicular biopsy and ICSI were analyzed for chromosomes X, Y, and 18 by FISH.

SETTING: Assisted reproductive technology program.

PATIENT(S): Consenting patients undergoing testicular biopsy and ICSI, severe oligozoospermic patients, and normal fertile donors.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): The rate of chromosome abnormalities in testicular sperm with regard to the type of azoospermia and ejaculated sperm compared to healthy men.

RESULT(S): The mean serum levels of FSH in the groups with nonobstructive azoospermia (n = 9), obstructive azoospermia (n = 10), severe oligozoospermia (n = 9), and the normal donors (n = 6) were 17.5 +/- 8.2 (P<.05), 3.5 +/- 2.6, 14.6 +/- 3.5 (P<.05), and 3.1 +/- 0.4 IU/mL, respectively. The corresponding rates of sperm chromosome abnormalities among these groups were 19.6% (P<.001), 8.2% (P<.001), 13.0% (P<.001), and 1.6%, respectively. The corresponding rates of disomy among these groups were 7.8% (12 of 153 spermatozoa), 4.9% (18 of 367), 6.2% (109 of 1,751), and 1% (5 of 500 spermatozoa), respectively. Errors in chromosomes X and Y were significantly more common than in chromosome 18.

CONCLUSION(S): The present findings demonstrate a linkage between gonadal failure (high serum FSH levels) and the occurrence of sperm chromosome aneuploidies. Our findings may explain the increased incidence of sex chromosome abnormalities found after IVF in the severe male factor patient population. Genetic screening during pregnancy or before embryo replacement should be considered carefully.

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