Author(s): Meng MV, Cha I, Ljung BM, Turek PJ
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Abstract Systematic testis fine needle aspiration (FNA) mapping has been proposed as an adjunctive or alternative diagnostic procedure to biopsy to determine the presence of spermatozoa within infertile testes. This study related testis histology to the global presence or absence of spermatozoa in the same testes determined by FNA cytology. Testis biopsies and FNA mapping were performed in 87 infertile, azoospermic men. A mean of 1.3 biopsies and 14 FNA sites were taken per patient. Biopsies were assessed by recognized histological patterns of normal, Sertoli cell-only, hypospermatogenesis, early and late maturation arrest, sclerosis as well as mixed patterns that included at least two of these histologies. FNA cytological specimens were assessed for sperm presence by an experienced cytologist. Overall, spermatozoa were found by FNA mapping in 52\% of patients. A comparison of histology and FNA findings revealed that pure patterns of Sertoli cell-only and early maturation were associated with a very poor likelihood of sperm detection (4-8\%). In contrast, patients with other pure pattern histologies or mixed patterns had high rates of FNA sperm detection (77-100\%). Similar to reported testicular sperm extraction (TESE) findings, sperm detection with FNA shows wide variation depending on testis histology. Unlike most TESE reports, however, some histological patterns generally reflect a more global testicular dysfunction and poorer likelihood of sperm identification, suggesting the possibility that these phenotypes have a genetic origin. Systematic testis sampling with FNA offers additional geographical information about spermatogenesis that routine biopsies lack and can further guide couple decision-making in severe male factor infertility.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Aging Science