Purpose: In view of the genetic risks for the next generation, the importance of careful evaluation of karyotypes and AZF microdeletions in male infertility prior to assisted reproduction is evident. In the present study, it is aimed to investigate the frequency and types of both major chromosomal abnormalities by using standard cytogenetic methods and Y chromosome microdeletions of infertile males with azoospermia and oligozoospermia to give appropriate genetic counseling before assisted reproduction techniques in southeast Turkey.
Methods: A total of 80 infertile males (52 were azoospermic, 25 oligospermic and 3 asthenospermic) were studied for the cytogenetic evaluation and molecular AZF screening program prior to use of assisted reproduction techniques. A detailed history was taken for each man. Karyotyping was performed on peripheral blood lymphocytes according to standard methods. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification by using 15 Y-specific sequence-tagged sites of AZF region was performed to screen the microdeletions in the AZF region of Y chromosome.
Results: Of 80 cases, 71 had normal karyotype (46,XY). The total prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities was found to be 11.2% (9/80), including seven patients with Klinefelter syndromes and two patients with balanced autosomal rearrangements. All of the patients with Klinefelter Syndrome had azoospermia, but carriers with translocation had oligospermia. The deletions of Y chromosome were seen in one patient (1.3%) with features of normal karyotype and azoospermia. Microdeletions were seen in the AZFc and AZFd regions. Neither AZFa nor AZFb microdeletions were detected.
Conclusions: The occurrence of chromosomal anomalies and Y chromosome microdeletions among infertile males strongly suggests the need for routine genetic testing and counseling prior to employment of assisted reproduction techniques.