The role of the antisperm antibodies in male infertility assessment after microsurgical varicocelectomy

Antisperm antibodies (ASA) are a cause of male infertility. ASA are often found in varicocele patients. The study objective was to assess the ASA role in fertility recovery after varicocelectomy. The longitudinal study involved 99 patients with varicocele. Patients were examined according to the WHO recommendations; ASA level was measured using the direct method of Sperm MAR test: 66 patients were ASA-negative, 33 had MAR-IgG ≥ 10%. All patients underwent microsurgical varicocelectomy. Student's t-test, Wilcoxon test, Chi-squared test and signed rank test were used for data analysis. The retrospective analysis of all operated patients data showed that the patients without spermiogram improvement after varicocelectomy had higher ASA levels. 3 months after the surgery, the initially ASA-negative varicocele patients demonstrated 2.5 times increase in number of progressive motile spermatozoa in the ejaculate (p < 0.001), accompanied by 6% decrease in abnormal sperm count (p < 0.05); the spermiogram parameters improved in 77% of cases (p < 0.01). After the surgery, ASA developed in 16% of cases (Max--MAR-IgG = 12%). The patients who were initially ASA-positive demonstrated ASA decrease only in half of the cases (16 of 33; p > 0.05). The main outcome in this group was a favourable response to the surgery (ASA level decrease) vs. no reduction in autoimmune process. The improvement in the ASA-positive group was demonstrated in the patients with higher varicocele grade (median--2 vs. 1; p < 0.05) and lower ASA level (MAR-IgG = 48% vs. 92%; p < 0.01). The pregnancy rate within a year after surgery was 2.8 times more frequent in couples with ASA-negative men: 39% (25 of 65) in the ASA-negative group compared to 14% (4 of 28) in the ASA-positive group (p < 0.05). Thus, antisperm immune response decreases the varicocelectomy efficacy for reproductive function recovery: the higher percentage of ASA and lower grade of varicocele are associated with an unfavourable prognosis. © 2014 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.

Bozhedomov V.A. 1 , Lipatova N.A. 1 , Alexeev R.A.1 , Alexandrova L.M.1 , Nikolaeva M.A.1 , Sukhikh G.T.1
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  • 1 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, Perinatology and Reproduction, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia
  • 2 Department of Clinical Andrology, The Federal State Budget Institution Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia
Ключевые слова
abnormal forms; antisperm antibodies; male infertility; sperm concentration; sperm motility; varicocele; varicocelectomy
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