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Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2014 Sep;41(3):132-136. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.5653/cerm.2014.41.3.132
Park YS , Park S , Ko DS , Park DW , Seo JT , Yang KM .
Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Cheil General Hospital and Women's Healthcare Center, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. arkangel@daum.net
Department of Urology, Cheil General Hospital and Women's Healthcare Center, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jtandro@cgh.co.kr
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cheil General Hospital and Women's Healthcare Center, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The presence of sperm-head vacuoles has been suspected to be deleterious to the outcomes of assisted reproductive technology (ART). It is difficult to accurately distinguish morphologically abnormal sperm with vacuoles under a light microscope. This study was performed to analyze the result of the observation of sperm-head vacuoles using Papanicolaou staining under a light microscope and whether the male partner's age affects these vacuoles. METHODS: Sperm morphology with vacuoles was evaluated using Papanicolaou staining and observed under a light microscope (400x) in 980 men. The normal morphology was divided into three categories (group A, <4% of normal morphology; group B, 4%-14% of normal morphology; and group C, >14% of normal morphology). The criteria for the sperm-head vacuoles were those given in the World Health Organization manual. For the analysis of the age factor, the participants were divided into the following groups: 26-30 years, 31-35 years, 36-40 years, 41-45 years, and 46-50 years. RESULTS: The percentage of sperm-head vacuoles increased with normal sperm morphology (group A vs. groups B, C) (p<0.05). In the case of the age factor, a statistically significant difference was not observed across any of the age groups. CONCLUSION: A majority of the sperm-head vacuoles showed a statistically significant difference among normal morphology groups. Therefore, we should consider the probability of the percentage of sperm-head vacuoles not increasing with age but with abnormal sperm morphology. A further study is required to clarify the effect of the sperm-head vacuoles on ART outcomes.

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