Intrasurgical Seminiferous Tubular Diameter Correlates with Total Motile Sperm Count in Azoospermia: a Prospective Cohort Study

Reprod Sci. 2022 Jun;29(6):1836-1843. doi: 10.1007/s43032-022-00927-w. Epub 2022 Mar 31.


We aimed to find a correlation between the intraoperative diameters of the seminiferous tubules evaluated at high magnification during micro-testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE) and total motile sperm count (TMSC) in non-obstructive azoospermic (NOA) patients. Five hundred four consecutive NOA patients were included and underwent micro-TESE. The change in the mean TMSC and different seminiferous tubular diameters was of high statistical significance (p < 0.001). It should be noted that the highest mean TMSC was reported in the dilated tubules (DTs) group followed by the other study groups 941.72 ± 196.97, 487.37 ± 443.57, and 34.54 ± 60.79, respectively. Furthermore, 21 naïve cases had dilated tubules (DTs) and 18 (85.7%) of them had shown eventful micro-TESE. Conversely, 186 naïve cases had slightly dilated tubules (SDTs), and 101 (54.3%) of them had eventful micro-TESE. Only 8 (24.25%) cases of the 33 cases had non dilated tubules (NDTs) and showed eventful micro-TESE. The frequency of intrasurgical seminiferous tubular diameter and micro-TESE outcome among the naïve cases had demonstrated a highly statistical significance (p < 0.001). Interestingly, all salvaged cases (100%) with DTs and a previous eventful TESE had shown eventful TESE in the current study. The most dilated intrasurgical seminiferous tubular diameter is associated with the highest TMSC in NOA patients including SCO cases.

Keywords: Micro-TESE; Non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA); Seminiferous tubular diameter; Sperm retrieval rate (SRR).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Azoospermia* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Retrieval
  • Spermatozoa
  • Testis