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      Clinical management of infertile men with nonobstructive azoospermia

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          Abstract

          The clinical management of men with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA) seeking fertility has been a challenge for andrologists, urologists, and reproductive medicine specialists alike. This review presents a personal perspective on the clinical management of NOA, including the lessons learned over 15 years dealing with this male infertility condition. A five-consecutive-step algorithm is proposed to manage such patients. First, a differential diagnosis of azoospermia is made to confirm/establish that NOA is due to spermatogenic failure. Second, genetic testing is carried out not only to detect the males in whom NOA is caused by microdeletions of the long arm of the Y chromosome, but also to counsel the affected patients about their chances of having success in sperm retrieval. Third, it is determined whether any intervention prior to a surgical retrieval attempt may be used to increase sperm production. Fourth, the most effective and efficient retrieval method is selected to search for testicular sperm. Lastly, state-of-art laboratory techniques are applied in the handling of retrieved gametes and cultivating the embryos resulting from sperm injections. A coordinated multidisciplinary effort is key to offer the best possible chance of achieving a biological offspring to males with NOA.

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          Most cited references 129

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          In vitro production of functional sperm in cultured neonatal mouse testes.

          Spermatogenesis is one of the most complex and longest processes of sequential cell proliferation and differentiation in the body, taking more than a month from spermatogonial stem cells, through meiosis, to sperm formation. The whole process, therefore, has never been reproduced in vitro in mammals, nor in any other species with a very few exceptions in some particular types of fish. Here we show that neonatal mouse testes which contain only gonocytes or primitive spermatogonia as germ cells can produce spermatids and sperm in vitro with serum-free culture media. Spermatogenesis was maintained over 2 months in tissue fragments positioned at the gas-liquid interphase. The obtained spermatids and sperm resulted in healthy and reproductively competent offspring through microinsemination. In addition, neonatal testis tissues were cryopreserved and, after thawing, showed complete spermatogenesis in vitro. Our organ culture method could be applicable through further refinements to a variety of mammalian species, which will serve as a platform for future clinical application as well as mechanistic understanding of spermatogenesis.
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            Androgen receptor defects: historical, clinical, and molecular perspectives.

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              Testicular sperm extraction: microdissection improves sperm yield with minimal tissue excision.

              Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) is often an effective method for sperm retrieval from men with non-obstructive azoospermia. However, TESE has been a blind procedure that does not identify the focal sperm-producing areas of the testicle until after tissue has been excised from the patient. Experience with a new technique of microdissection of testicular tubules is presented here that identifies sperm-containing regions before their removal. Identification of spermatogenically active regions of the testicle is possible by direct examination of the individual seminiferous tubules. The underlying concept for this technique is simple: seminiferous tubules containing many developing germ cells, rather than Sertoli cells alone, are likely to be larger and more opaque than tubules without sperm production. In a sequential series of TESE cases for men with non-obstructive azoospermia, the ability to find spermatozoa increased from 45% (10/22) to 63% (17/27) after introduction of the microdissection technique. Microdissected samples yielded an average of 160,000 spermatozoa per sample in only 9.4 mg of tissue, whereas only 64,000 spermatozoa were found in standard biopsy samples that averaged 720 mg in weight (P < 0.05 for all comparisons). For men where microdissection was attempted, successful identification of enlarged tubules was possible in 56% (15/27) of cases. However, spermatozoa were retrieved with microdissection TESE for six men in whom sperm retrieval was unsuccessful with standard TESE approaches (35% of all men with spermatozoa retrieved). These findings suggest that microdissection TESE can improve sperm retrieval for men with non-obstructive azoospermia over that achieved with previously described biopsy techniques.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Asian J Androl
                Asian J. Androl
                AJA
                Asian Journal of Andrology
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                1008-682X
                1745-7262
                May-Jun 2015
                13 February 2015
                : 17
                : 3
                : 459-470
                Affiliations
                ANDROFERT, Center for Male Reproduction, Campinas 13075-460, Brazil
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Dr. SC Esteves ( s.esteves@ 123456androfert.com.br )
                Article
                AJA-17-459
                10.4103/1008-682X.148719
                4430952
                25677138
                9c297e1a-1bec-4a79-a1ec-4148be75b093
                Copyright: © Asian Journal of Andrology

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Invited Review

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