Interdependence between sperm concentration, motility, morphology, and the percentage of aneuploid sperm was explored to test whether oligoasthenoteratospermia (OAT) may have a multiple origin in idiopathic infertile males. A total of 174 men (age, 35.8 ± 4.3 yr) with idiopathic infertility were studied. Seven patients had nonobstructive azoospermia, 55 had severe OAT, 30 had OAT, 27 had isolated alterations of motility, 45 had alterations of morphology and of motility, and 10 had isolated alterations of morphology. The sperm morphology was assessed with strict criteria. The percentage of aneuploid sperm was assessed with fluorescent in situ hybridization for chromosomes X, Y, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 22. Relationships between sperm features, and the relationship between sperm features and aneuploidies were analyzed with multivariate regression analysis. Statistical analysis did not find any significant relationship between the percentage of typical forms and sperm concentration or between morphology and motility. On the other hand, a positive and significant relationship was found between sperm concentration and motility. The percentage of aneuploid sperm was inversely and significantly related to the percentage of typical forms but not to motility and concentration. Sperm morphology is an independent characteristic with respect to concentration and motility, whereas it showed a significant inverse relationship with respect to the percentage of aneuploid sperm. This means that idiopathic OAT may occur by means of at least two independent pathways, the first affecting concentration and/or motility and the second affecting morphology.
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Vol. 79 • No. 4