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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2006 June;58(2):201-5

language: English

An attempt to improve standardization of sperm motility class assessment using the superimposed image analysis system (SIAS) software

Mazzilli F., Delfino M., Imbrogno N., Elia J., Balducelli F., Rossi T.

Unit of Andrology Department of Medical Pathophysiology 2nd Faculty of Medicine Sant’Andrea Hospital University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy


Aim. An attempt was made to improve the standardization of sperm motility assess- ment.
Methods. A computerized system based on image superimposition producing final image with a motion effect was employed. Numerical definition of straight-line velocity (VSL), curvilinear velocity (VCL) and linearity (LIN) related to these motility classes were made, at different frame/rates (20 frames/s, 30 frames/s and 60 frames/s).
Results. At least 4 motility class categories were found to be necessary (instead of 3, WHO) for a valid assessment. According to the cut-offs suggested by the ROC curves, motility classes were defined as follows: Class 1 (straight progressive motility): VSL ≥ 23 μm/s; LIN ≥ 0.58 at 20 frames/s; LIN ≥ 0.50 at 30 frames/s; LIN ≥ 0.44 at 60 frames/s. Class 2 (straight slow motility): VSL > 10 μm/s and < 23 μm/s; LIN ≥ 0.58 at 20 frames/s; LIN ≥ 0.51 at 30 frames/s; LIN ≥ 0.43 at 60 frames/s. Class 3 (progressive non straight motility): VSL > 10 μm/s; LIN < 0.58 at 20 frames/s; LIN < 0.51 at 30 frames/s; LIN<0.43 at 60 frames/s. Class 4 (non progressive motility): VSL <10 μm/s. A frame rate of 20 frames/s was found to be sufficient to distinguish sperm motility classes in standard semen analysis.
Conclusion. The numerical definition of sperm motility classes may contribute towards standardization in the objective evaluation of sperm kinematics.

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