Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sperm Abnormalities Correlate With Age: Presented at ASRM

35 Years: the Border Between Good and Bad Sperm?


Sperm Abnormalities Correlate With Age: Presented at ASRM
By Crina Frincu-Mallos, PhD

WASHINGTON, DC -- October 23, 2007 --
A team of German researchers approached this issue from the point of view of sperm genome quality, and are drawing the line between good and bad sperm at age 35, according to a study reported here at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

The researchers triggered the DNA fragmentation, or rather the amount of sperm with fragmented DNA and attempted to correlate it with the patient's age, explained Thomas Winkle, Doctoral Researcher, Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Genetics, ReproGen-Ulm, Ulm, Germany, in an interview on October 16.

Semen samples were collected from all patients accrued in this study at the IVF-Zentrum, Ulm, Germany. Patients were between 24 and 47 years old.

For their preliminary study, the researchers analysed DNA fragmentation on semen samples from the first 56 patients was performed using propidium iodide staining and flow cytometry. The statistical analysis was done using the student's t-test.

The researchers found was that, patients under the age 35 years had a 14.32% mean rate of DNA fragmentated spermatozoa, whereas in patients 36 and older, the mean rate was 20.25%, a statistically significant difference (P <.05).

At the ends of the spectrum, in the subgroup of patients younger than 30 years, the mean rate of DNA fragmentated spermatozoa was 14.05%, while in the subgroup above 40 years old, the percentage went up to 20.27%, said the researchers.

Since patients aged 36 years or more had much higher rates of DNA fragmented sperm, the researchers suggested that these patients would have a reduced chance for successful assisted reproductive technology.

The final results of the study are expected by the beginning of 2008. The total accrual goal is about 300 patients, and right now there are approximately 250 patients in the study, said Winkle.

[Presentation title: 35 Years: the Border Between Good and Bad Sperm? Abstract P-785]



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