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      Oxidation–reduction potential and sperm DNA fragmentation, and their associations with sperm morphological anomalies amongst fertile and infertile men


      a , * , a , a , b , a , a , c , d , e , f , a , a

      Arab Journal of Urology


      ART, assisted reproductive techniques, AUC, area under the curve, ICSI, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, IUI, intrauterine insemination, IVF, in vitro fertilisation, NPV, negative predictive value, ORP, oxidation–reduction potential, OS, oxidative stress, PPV, positive predictive value, ROC, receiver operating characteristic, ROS, reactive oxygen species, SCD, sperm chromatin dispersion, Male infertility, Oxidation-reduction potential, Sperm, Sperm DNA fragmentation, Sperm morphology

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          To assess seminal oxidation–reduction potential (ORP) and sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in male infertility and their relationships with sperm morphology in fertile and infertile men.

          Patients and methods

          Prospective case-control study comparing the findings of infertile men ( n = 1168) to those of men with confirmed fertility ( n = 100) regarding demographics and semen characteristics (conventional and advanced semen tests). Spearman rank correlation assessed the correlation between ORP, SDF, and different morphological indices. Means of ORP and SDF were assessed in variable levels of normal sperm morphology amongst all participants.


          Infertile patients had a significantly lower mean sperm count (32.7 vs 58.7 × 10 6 sperm/mL), total motility (50.1% vs 60.4%), and normal morphology (5.7% vs 9.9%). Conversely, infertile patients had significantly higher mean head defects (54% vs 48%), and higher ORP and SDF values than fertile controls. ORP and SDF showed significant positive correlations and significant negative correlations with sperm head defects and normal morphology in infertile patients, respectively. ORP and SDF were significantly inversely associated with the level of normal sperm morphology. Using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, ORP and SDF threshold values of 1.73 mV/10 6 sperm/mL and 25.5%, respectively, were associated with 76% and 56% sensitivity and 72% and 72.2% specificity, respectively, in differentiating <4% from ≥4% normal morphology.


          A direct inverse relationship exists between seminal ORP and SDF with various levels of normal sperm morphology. Using ORP and SDF measures in conjunction with standard semen morphology analysis could validate the result of the fertility status of patients.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Clinical utility of sperm DNA fragmentation testing: practice recommendations based on clinical scenarios

          Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) has been generally acknowledged as a valuable tool for male fertility evaluation. While its detrimental implications on sperm function were extensively investigated, little is known about the actual indications for performing SDF analysis. This review delivers practice based recommendations on commonly encountered scenarios in the clinic. An illustrative description of the different SDF measurement techniques is presented. SDF testing is recommended in patients with clinical varicocele and borderline to normal semen parameters as it can better select varicocelectomy candidates. High SDF is also linked with recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) and can influence outcomes of different assisted reproductive techniques. Several studies have shown some benefit in using testicular sperm rather than ejaculated sperm in men with high SDF, oligozoospermia or recurrent in vitro fertilization (IVF) failure. Infertile men with evidence of exposure to pollutants can benefit from sperm DNA testing as it can help reinforce the importance of lifestyle modification (e.g., cessation of cigarette smoking, antioxidant therapy), predict fertility and monitor the patient’s response to intervention.
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            Role of reactive oxygen species in male infertility.

            Human spermatozoa exhibit a capacity to generate ROS and initiate peroxidation of the unsaturated fatty acids in the sperm plasma membrane, which plays a key role in the etiology of male infertility. The short half-life and limited diffusion of these molecules is consistent with their physiologic role in key biological events such as acrosome reaction and hyperactivation. The intrinsic reactivity of these metabolites in peroxidative damage induced by ROS, particularly H2O2 and the superoxide anion, has been proposed as a major cause of defective sperm function in cases of male infertility. The number of antioxidants known to attack different stages of peroxidative damage is growing, and it will be of interest to compare alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid with these for their therapeutic potential in vitro and in vivo. Both spermatozoa and leukocytes generate ROS, although leukocytes produce much higher levels. The clinical significance of leukocyte presence in semen is controversial. Seminal plasma confers some protection against ROS damage because it contains enzymes that scavenge ROS, such as catalase and superoxide dismutase. A variety of defense mechanisms comprising a number of anti-oxidants can be employed to reduce or overcome oxidative stress caused by excessive ROS. Determination of male infertility etiology is important, as it will help us develop effective therapies to overcome excessive ROS generation. ROS can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on the spermatozoa and the balancing between the amounts of ROS produced and the amounts scavenged at any moment will determine whether a given sperm function will be promoted or jeopardized. Accurate assessment of ROS levels and, subsequently, OS is vital, as this will help clinicians both elucidate the fertility status and identify the subgroups of patients that respond or do not respond to these therapeutic strategies. The overt commercial claims of antioxidant benefits and supplements for fertility purposes must be cautiously looked into, until proper multicentered clinical trials are studied. From the current data it appears that no single adjuvant will be able to enhance the fertilizing capacity of sperm in infertile men, and a combination of the possible strategies that are not toxic at the dosage used would be a feasible approach.
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              Defining infertility--a systematic review of prevalence studies.

              Existing definitions of infertility lack uniformity, rendering comparisons in prevalence between countries or over time problematic. The absence of an agreed definition also compromises clinical management and undermines the impact of research findings. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review of the literature to determine how infertility has been defined in prevalence studies and to come up with suggestions for a feasible and clinically relevant definition. MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched for relevant population-based prevalence studies published between 1975 and 2010. A total of 39 articles were included in the current review. The results highlight the heterogeneity of criteria used to define infertility and critical differences between demographic and epidemiological definitions. Demographers tend to define infertility as childlessness in a population of women of reproductive age, while the epidemiological definition is based on 'trying for' or 'time to' a pregnancy, generally in a population of women exposed to the risk of conception. There is considerable variation in terms of the duration of 'trying for pregnancy', the age of women sampled and their marital or cohabitation status. This leads to inconsistencies in determining the numerator and denominator used to calculate the prevalence of infertility. There is a need for an agreed definition for infertility. We suggest a clinically relevant definition based on the duration of trying for pregnancy coupled with female age.

                Author and article information

                Arab J Urol
                Arab J Urol
                Arab Journal of Urology
                01 February 2018
                March 2018
                01 February 2018
                : 16
                : 1
                : 87-95
                [a ]Department of Urology, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
                [b ]Department of Urology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, USA
                [c ]Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
                [d ]College of Medicine, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
                [e ]School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden
                [f ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women’s Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author at: Department of Urology, Hamad Medical Corporation, PO Box 3050, Doha, Qatar. amajzoub@ 123456hamad.qa
                © 2017 Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Arab Association of Urology.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).



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