BACKGROUND: The prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities is assumed to be higher in infertile men and inversely correlated with sperm concentration. Although guidelines advise karyotyping infertile men, karyotyping is costly, therefore it would be of benefit to identify men with the highest risk of chromosomal abnormalities, possibly by using parameters other than sperm concentration. The aim of this study was to evaluate several clinical parameters in azoospermic and non-azoospermic men, in order to assess the prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities in different subgroups of infertile men.
METHODS: In a retrospective cohort of 1223 azoospermic men and men eligible for ICSI treatment, we studied sperm parameters, hormone levels and medical history for an association with chromosomal abnormalities.
RESULTS: The prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities in the cohort was 3.1%. No association was found between chromosomal abnormalities and sperm volume, concentration, progressive motility or total motile sperm count. Azoospermia was significantly associated with the presence of a chromosomal abnormality [15.2%, odds ratio (OR) 7.70, P <0.001]. High gonadotrophin levels were also associated with an increased prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities (OR 2.96, P = 0.013). Azoospermic men with a positive andrologic history had a lower prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities than azoospermic men with an uneventful history (OR 0.28, P = 0.047). In non-azoospermic men, we found that none of the studied variables were associated with the prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities.
CONCLUSIONS: We show that the highest prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities is found in hypergonadotrophic azoospermic men with an uneventful andrologic history.
- chromosomal abnormalities
- male infertility
- ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES
- CANDIDATE COUPLES
- SUBJECT VARIATION
- APPROPRIATE USE
- SEMEN ANALYSIS
- GENETIC TESTS