JOURNAL ARTICLE

Clinical characterization of 42 oligospermic or azoospermic men with microdeletion of the AZFc region of the Y chromosome, and of 18 children conceived via ICSI

Robert D Oates, Sherman Silber, Laura G Brown, David C Page
Human Reproduction 2002, 17 (11): 2813-24
12407032

BACKGROUND: Severe spermatogenic compromise may be the result of a Y-chromosomal deletion of the AZFc region. Prior studies are limited to relatively small numbers of AZFc-deleted men. In this study, we have fully characterized 42 infertile men with a Y chromosome microdeletion strictly confined to the AZFc region, and we report on 18 children conceived through the use of ICSI.

METHODS: A total of 42 oligospermic or azoospermic men had AZFc deletions. History, physical examination, karyotype, FSH, LH, testosterone, testis histology and results of ICSI using ejaculated or testis sperm were retrospectively accumulated in two academic clinical practices.

RESULTS: All men were somatically healthy. Karyotypes were 46,XY in all but two men. FSH, LH, testosterone and testis histology could not differentiate those with oligospermia or azoospermia, nor could they predict whether sperm could be found in harvested testis tissue. Paternal age was not increased. Sperm production appeared stable over time. The results of ICSI were not affected by the AZFc deletion. All but one of the offspring were healthy. The sons inherited the AZFc deletion with no increase in length.

CONCLUSIONS: AZFc-deleted men are somatically healthy, will most likely have useable sperm, will have stable sperm production over time and will have a good chance to experience biological paternity, but their sons will also be AZFc-deleted.

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