Search and identification of spermatozoa and spermatids in the ejaculate of non-obstructive azoospermic patients

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Timm Jr, Odival [UNIFESP]
Cedenho, Agnaldo Pereira [UNIFESP]
Spaine, Deborah M. [UNIFESP]
Buttignol, Marcia H.p. [UNIFESP]
Fraietta, Renato [UNIFESP]
Ortiz, Valdemar [UNIFESP]
Srougi, Miguel [UNIFESP]
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OBJECTIVE: To search and to identify spermatozoa and spermatids, present in the ejaculate of non-obstructive azoospermic patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 27 patients, aged between 18 and 48 years, with initial diagnosis compatible with non-obstructive azoospermia, underwent up to 3 seminal samples, with assessment of macroscopic and microscopic parameters differentiated for each sample. In the first sample, 5 µL of semen were analyzed in a Horwell chamber in order to assess the presence or absence of spermatozoa. The procedure was repeated with 2 other aliquots. In the absence of spermatozoa, the entire sample was transferred to a conic tube and following centrifugation the sediment was freshly analyzed. The second seminal sample was collected only when no spermatozoa were found in the first sample and the research was performed in the same way. In cases where spermatozoa were not seen, the sample was centrifuged and the obtained sediment was stained by the panoptic method and observed under common light microscopy (1250X). The third seminal sample was collected only in cases when patients had not shown spermatozoa in the first and second seminal samples. RESULTS: 4/27 (14.8%) patients presented spermatozoa in the first seminal sample and 6/23 (26.1%), in the second seminal sample. No spermatozoa were seen in the third sample, however, 11/17 (64.7%) presented spermatids. CONCLUSION: In clinical situations where the initial diagnosis is non-obstructive azoospermia, one single routine seminal analysis is not enough to confirm this diagnosis and the analysis of the centrifuged sediment can have relevant clinical consequences. Among patients considered non-obstructive azoospermic, when duly assessed, 37% presented spermatozoa and 64.7%, spermatids.
International braz j urol. Sociedade Brasileira de Urologia, v. 31, n. 1, p. 42-48, 2005.