South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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The effect of sperm morphology and testicular spermatozoa

L-M Kellerman, M L Windt, C J Lombard


Objective. To determine the correlation between sperm morphology groups (strict criteria) and testicular
spermatozoa, and day 2 and 3 embryo quality in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilisation
(IVF) cases.
Methods. A retrospective study was done of 2 402 IVF and ICSI-fertilised embryos classified as goodquality
embryos (GQEs) or poor-quality embryos (PQEs). Sperm morphology (strict criteria) was classified as
teratozoospermia (P-pattern (< 5% normal); G-pattern (5 - 14% normal)), normozoospermia (N-pattern (> 14%
normal)), and testicular spermatozoa (immature, only ICSI group).
Results. Sperm morphology (P, G, and N-patterns) and immature testicular sperm had no effect on day 2 or 3
embryo quality for ICSI (p = 0.82) and IVF-fertilised (p = 0.64) embryos. A significant increase in GQEs from day
2 to 3 in the P-pattern group (33 - 39%, p = 0.002) and testicular spermatozoa group (30 - 35%, p = 0.014) was
found in ICSI cases.
Conclusion. Morphology of human spermatozoa according to Tygerberg's strict criteria and testicular
spermatozoa had no predictive value for the outcome of day 2 and 3 embryo quality.

South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Vol. 13 (2) 2007: pp. 46-51

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