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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 1999 November;51(11):413-20

language: Italian

Correlation between idiopathic leukocytospermia, embryo quality and outcome of IVF and ICSI procedures

Vicino M., Loverro G., Simonetti S., Mei L., Selvaggi L.


Background. An adverse effect of leukocytospermia in seminal fluid on motility and fertilizing power of spermatozoa has been described. This detrimental effect could be mediated by radical oxygen species (ROS). Recently, a direct effect on nuclear DNA of sperm induced by ROS has been described, although the chance of fertilization did not seem altered during ICSI procedure. Aim of this prospective case-control study was to compare the outcome of results in term of fertilization rate and embryo quality in patients with and without idiopathic leukocytospermia during IVF and ICSI cycles.
Methods. Seventy-two patients selected for a program of IVF and ICSI were admitted in the study. Fourty-two patients underwent IVF procedure, 14 with idiopathic leukocytospermia and 28 without, and thirty underwent ICSI procedure, 16 with leukocytospermia and 14 without leukocytospermia.
Results. Statistical significant differences on cleavage rate of embryos between leukocytospermia and control group in IVF cycles were observed. In ICSI procedure a low fertilization, cleavage rate and percentage of good embryos in the presence of leukocytospermia were evidenced.
Conclusions. The presence of a significant number of leukocytes in semen, even in idiopathic condition, could affect the results of IVF and ICSI procedure. An adverse effect of lipoperoxidation process of plasma membrane and damage of nuclear chromatin of sperm, as result of leukocyte contamination could be hypothesized and future studies needed in order to verify the role of ROS on sperm functions.

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