, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 140–147 | Cite as

Serum inhibin-B and follicle stimulating hormone as predictors of the presence of sperm in testicular fine needle aspirate in men with azoospermia

  • Dimitrios G. GoulisEmail author
  • Paris Polychronou
  • Themistokis Mikos
  • Grigorios Grimbizis
  • Sriridon Gerou
  • Vassiliki Pavlidou
  • Athanasios Papanikolaou
  • Basil C. Tarlatzis
  • Ioannis N. Bontis
  • Ioannis Papadimas
Research paper


Objective: Inhibin-B (Inh-B) is produced by Sertoli cells and controls Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) secretion through a negative feedback mechanism. The primary aim of this study was to compare Inh-B with FSH as predictors of the recovery of sperm in testicular fine needle aspirate in men with azoospermia. Design: In 51 men with azoospermia basal values of Luteinizing Hormone (LH), FSH, prolactin and testosterone as well as Inh-B values before and 24 h and 48 h after the administration of 300 IU recombinant human FSH were determined. Testicular Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) was also carried out. Thirty-one young healthy men were also enrolled in the study as controls. Re sul ts: There was significant difference between men with azoospermia and controls with regard to the basal Inh-B levels [median (interquartile range) 37.2 (36) vs. 103.0 (90) pg/mL, respectively, p=0.003] but not to the stimulated Inh-B levels [40.5 (41) vs. 73.0 (44) pg/mL, p=0.113 at 24 h and 34.3 (34) vs. 82.0 (50) pg/mL, p=0.098 at 48 h)]. The Area Under Curve in Receiver Operating Characteristic curves were similar for Inh-B and FSH (0.610 vs. 0.716, respectively, p=0.151) as far as prediction of sperm retrieval is concerned. Conclusions: Basal serum Inh-B values are significantly lower in men with azoospermia compared to controls. However, Inh-B is not superior to FSH in predicting the presence of sperm in testicular fine needle aspirate.

Key words

FNA FSH Inhibin-B Male subfertility Sperm retrieval 


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitrios G. Goulis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paris Polychronou
    • 1
  • Themistokis Mikos
    • 1
  • Grigorios Grimbizis
    • 1
  • Sriridon Gerou
    • 1
  • Vassiliki Pavlidou
    • 1
  • Athanasios Papanikolaou
    • 1
  • Basil C. Tarlatzis
    • 1
  • Ioannis N. Bontis
    • 1
  • Ioannis Papadimas
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Reproductive Endocrinology, First Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyAristotle University of Thessaloniki, “Papageorgiou” General HospitalThessalonikiGreece

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