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Examen ultrastructural quantitatif des spermatozoides humains: Intérêt, méthode, valeurs de référence, indications

Quantitative ultrastructural analysis of human spermatozoa: Revelance, method, reference values, indications

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Abstract

The use of transmission electron microscopy in clinical andrology is complicated by problems of classification and interpretation related to the extraordinary pleomorphism of human spermatozoa, even in fertile men. Based upon our experience of more than 650 cases, this paper describes the morphological abnormalities seen and proposes a simplified classification which is the basis of our approach to the quantitative ultrastructural assessment of human spermatozoa. The mean and maximum incidences of the various abnormalities are provided for 37 fertile ejaculates. These reference values, particularly the threshold value of 50% abnormal acrosomes, constitute our interpretation criteria. Finally, the indications for this type of extended evaluation are defined as unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, severe asthenozoospermia, and teratozoospermia characterized by a high level of abnormal heads.

Resume

L’utilisation de la microscopie électronique à transmission en clinique andrologique se heurte à des difficultés de classification et d’interprétation liées à l’extraordinaire pléiomorphisme caractérisant les spermatozoïdes humains et ce, même chez les sujets fertiles. Forts d’une expérience portant sur plus de 650 cas, nous donnons ici une description des malformations observées et proposons la classification simplifiée servant de base à notre méthodologie d’examen ultrastructural quantitatif du sperme humain. Nous rapportons les fréquences moyennes et maximales de ces malformations dans 37 spermes fertiles. Ces valeurs de référence et notamment la valuer seuil de 50% d’acrosomes anormaux constituent nos critères d’interprétation. Nous précisons, enfin, les indications de ce type d’exploration approfondie à savoir: les infertilités inexpliquées, les asthénozospermies sévères et les tératozoospermies caractérisées par un taux élevé de têtes anormales

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Correspondence to D. Raick-Mignolet.

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Raick-Mignolet, D., Baeckeland, E. Examen ultrastructural quantitatif des spermatozoides humains: Intérêt, méthode, valeurs de référence, indications. Androl. 2, 114–120 (1992) doi:10.1007/BF03034687

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Key words

  • Human spermatozoa
  • Ultrastructure
  • Male infertility

Mots clés

  • Spermatozoïde humain
  • Ultrastructure
  • Infertilité masculine