Non-obstructive azoospermic men and their partners who are considering infertility treatment by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) should be offered genetic counselling.
This is because such men have a higher incidence of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm, in particular sex chromosome aneuploidy, according to the findings of a team of researchers at Cornell University, New York, United States. Their study followed concerns about the potential risk of azoospermic patients undergoing ICSI transmitting genetic abnormalities to the offspring.
An ICSI pipette was used for biopsies to collect individual testicular sperm and micro surgical epididymal sperm aspiration was used to retrieve epididymal sperm. Chromosomes 18, 21, X and Y samples were processed by fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) for comparison with samples from normal ejaculation.
Men with non-obstructive azoospermia were found to have an overall aneuploidy rate of 11.4 percent. This was significantly higher (P = 0.0001) than the aneuploidy rate, 1.8 percent, found in epididymal sperm from men with obstructive azoospermia as well as the 1.5 percent detected in ejaculated sperm