Morphology assessment and fluorescence in situ hybridization of the same spermatozoon using a computerized cell-scanning system

Hum Reprod. 2007 Jan;22(1):201-9. doi: 10.1093/humrep/del357. Epub 2006 Sep 22.


Background: Poor sperm morphology is statistically associated with an increase in the incidence of chromosome abnormalities. Our aim was to examine the possible correlation between chromosomal aberrations and sperm morphology in the same cell.

Methods: 12349 spermatozoa from 7 teratozoospermic and one globozoospermic patients, and from 3 fertile donors were analyzed using a system which scans for cell morphology and chromosomal ploidy in the same cell using digital technology.

Results: Chromosomal aberrations were detected in 5.3% of teratozoospermic cases and in 6.7% in the globozoospermic patient compared with 1.6% in donors (P < 0.0001). Chromosomal aberrations were more common in abnormally formed sperm compared with normal spermatozoa: 4.5% vs 1.3% in the teratozoospermic group and 2.0% vs 0.3% in the control group (NS), especially frequent among sperm with two heads or two tails (52.1-77.2%) or extreme head deformations (10.6-11.1%) irrespective of grouping, and in mild amorphous heads in the globozoospermic patients (20.2%). The frequency of chromosomal aberrations in morphologically normal sperm was comparable whether derived from teratozoospermic or normospermic patients.

Conclusions: The computerized cell-scanning system demonstrated the relationship between chromosomal aberrations and sperm morphology in the same spermatozoon. The incidence of chromosomal aberrations was positively linked to abnormal sperm morphology, the more severe the abnormality, the higher the incidence of aneuploidy.

MeSH terms

  • Aneuploidy
  • Azoospermia / pathology
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Cytophotometry / methods
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Male
  • Spermatozoa / abnormalities
  • Spermatozoa / cytology*