Correlation between DNA damage and sperm parameters: a prospective study of 1,633 patients

Date: 4-13-2009

Paul Cohen-Bacrie, PC, Belloc S, Menezo, Y, Clement, P, Jamal H, Benkhalifa, M.  Laboratoire d'Eylau, Paris, France
Laboratoire Clement, Le Blanc Mesnil, France Fertility and Sterility 91:1801-05

OBJECTIVE: To investigate DNA fragmentation by using terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase–mediated dUTP nick-end labeling in relation to World Health Organization parameters and computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) in sperm to determine the possibility of obtaining a correlation among CASA parameters, sperm morphology, and DNA fragmentation.

DESIGN: Sperm analysis according to World Health Organization parameters, terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase–mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) for sperm DNA fragmentation, and CASA for sperm movement. Prospective study.

PATIENTS: One thousand six hundred thirty-three men who were referred for infertility investigation, including a complete sperm analysis.

RESULTS: One third of the patients had a TUNEL rate of >30%. Analysis of the 21 semen parameters tested revealed that 7 of them were significantly correlated with the TUNEL results.

CONCLUSIONS: World Health Organization sperm parameters and DNA damage are complementary, rather than strongly linked. This should be considered to more fully understand the paternal contribution in assisted reproductive technologies failures.