Author(s): Tournaye H, Tournaye H
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Abstract Different methods for recovering epididymal or testicular spermatozoa have been described and each has its drawbacks and advantages. Percutaneous aspiration of the testis may be the method of choice in cases of irreparable obstructive azoospermia. Using a 21-gauge needle, spermatozoa may be recovered in 96 \% of patients. More patients undergoing fine-needle aspiration experienced less pain than expected as compared with those undergoing open biopsy. Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) is the preferred method in patients with an incomplete work-up because, if indicated, a vasoepididymostomy can be performed concomitantly with a full scrotal exploration. In azoospermic patients with testicular failure, the sperm recovery rate, i.e. the chance of finding at least one spermatozoon, is around 50\% after multiple open biopsies. However, the fertilization rates after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are significantly lower than in men with normal spermatogenesis, and complete fertilization failure may occur more frequently. Although the combination of testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and ICSI may be the sole treatment available for infertility because of non-obstructive azoospermia, the overall success rate is limited and ongoing pregnancies are obtained in < or =20\% of ICSI cycles. In patients with incomplete Sertoli cell-only syndrome, testicular damage may be limited by use of a selective microsurgical approach; less invasive methods such as fine-needle aspiration are not useful in these patients. Of 14 patients with primary testicular failure as proven by histopathology, only in one case (7.1\%) were spermatozoa recovered by multiple aspirations, while in nine cases (64.3\%) spermatozoa were recovered by open biopsy. Although the pregnancy rates reported after ICSI with frozen-thawed testicular spermatozoa from patients with primary testicular failure are relatively low, the recovery of testicular spermatozoa by open biopsy followed by cryopreservation may be the method of choice by which to prevent repeat surgery and pointless ovarian stimulation in the female partner.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Aging Science