The effect of human sperm chromatin maturity on ICSI outcomes
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Because sperm chromatin may play a key role in reproductive success, we verify the associations between sperm chromatin abnormalities, embryo development and the ability to achieve pregnancy. The evaluation of sperm chromatin maturity using aniline blue (AB), chromomycin A3 (CMA3) and toluidine blue (TB) staining were carried out in group of males from infertile couples that underwent ICSI. Low levels of sperm chromatin abnormalities (< 16%) were found in most subjects (> 50%). A higher percentage of TB-positive sperm cells were discovered in the men from couples who achieved ≤ 50% fertilized oocytes compared to men who achieved > 50%. No significant differences were discovered by the applied tests between the men from couples who achieved ≤ 50% and those who achieved > 50% high-quality embryos on the 3rd or 5th day after fertilization, nor between the men from couples who achieved pregnancy and those who failed. The sperm chromatin maturity did not correlate with the ICSI results. However, the ROC analysis revealed a significant predictive value of TB-positive spermatozoa only for fertilization. Therefore, the TB assay can be considered as a useful test for the prediction of fertilization. Our findings suggest that the level of sperm chromatin abnormalities of the examined men was not clinically significant. No found associations between sperm chromatin maturity and embryo development and the ability to achieve pregnancy. We could not exclude the effects of the repairing processes in the fertilized oocyte. The use of complementary tests that verify the status of the sperm chromatin seems justified.
KeywordsSperm Chromatin In vitro fertilization (IVF) Male infertility
This study was supported by the Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland Grants No. WNoZ-322-04/S/2016 and No. FSN-322-5/2016.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.
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