Correlation between proportions of sperm with DNA fragmentation assessed by Halosperm test and values of standard quality parameters of semen and possible impact on embryo quality
AbstractBackground: The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation between standard laboratory parameters of human semen, men’s age and sperm DNA fragmentation. We have also examined an impact of sperm DNA damage on embryo quality after IVF/ICSI procedures. Methods: Semen samples from 102 men have been analysed as a part of diagnostic semen analysis and fertility evaluation by using conventional microscopic semen analyses. In each sample, the concentration, motility, morphology and vitality of spermatozoa were evaluated. Sperm DNA damage was determined by using Halosperm test with threshold value of DNA fragmentation index (DFI) at 30 %. Embryo quality was evaluated in 32 couples undergoing assisted reproduction technique (ART) procedures at our clinic. Results: Results indicate that the patient group with DFI ≥ 30 % had significantly lower values of standard semen parameters than the group of patients with DFI < 30 % (sperm motility: 20 ± 16 vs. 35 ± 17; p < 0.001, morphology: 16 ± 19 vs. 45 ± 15; p = 0.006 and vitality: 63 ± 16 vs. 72 ± 12; p = 0.002, respectively). Negative correlations were found between DNA fragmentation and motility (r = -0.41, p < 0.001), morphology (r = -0.32, p = 0.001) and vitality (r = -0.36, p < 0.001). Weak positive correlation was found between DNA fragmentation and male age (r = 0.27, p = 0.007). We also found that in the group of patients with DFI index < 30 % there were significantly more embryos of better quality. Conclusions: In men with poorer semen quality, evaluated by standard semen parameters, a higher proportion of sperm with damaged DNA can also be expected. Higher sperm DNA damage, established by Halosperm test, also had an impact on embryo quality in this group of patients.
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