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BioMed Research International - Volume 2014 2014, Article ID 927841, 12 pages -

Research Article

Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Vecna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

National Institute of Biology, Vecna pot 111, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Reproductive Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Slajmerjeva 3, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 10 January 2014; Revised 8 March 2014; Accepted 17 March 2014; Published 9 April 2014

Academic Editor: Raymond J. Rodgers

Copyright © 2014 Nina Fekonja et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The human sperm head vacuoles and their role in male infertility are still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to identify the clinical and ultrastructural features of human sperm head vacuoles in men included in the in vitro fertilization programme: men with normal normozoospermia and impaired sperm morphology teratozoospermia. The sperm samples were observed under 6000-time magnification using motile sperm organelle morphology examination MSOME. The proportion of sperm with head vacuoles was evaluated and related to the outcome of in vitro fertilization. The sperm of men with impaired sperm morphology was characterized by a higher proportion of sperm head vacuoles. The sperm head vacuoles were related to impaired semen quality sperm concentration, motility, and morphology but were not influenced by male factors semen volume, height, age, weight, or body mass index. Moreover, sperm head vacuoles were related to impaired fertilization rate merely after classical in vitro fertilization IVF, while there was no relation to pregnancy. In a subgroup of men, the sperm was fixed and observed by transmission electron microscopy TEM. The ultrastructural study revealed that sperm head vacuoles are large nuclear indentations of various sizes and positions, packed with membranous material organized in membrane whorls MW.

Autor: Nina Fekonja, Jasna Štrus, Magda Tušek Žnidarič, Katja Knez, Eda Vrtacnik Bokal, Ivan Verdenik, and Irma Virant-Klun



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