The role of paternal chromosomes and sperm morphology on the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection
The study investigated the possible relationship between the X/Y chromosomes bearing spermatozoa and the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) therapy and morphological appearance/shape (Tygerberg criteria) of the sperm cell injected into the oocyte during ICSI therapy and fertilisation. Thirty-nine patients were recruited for the study from an assisted reproductive programme. Semen samples were prepared by using gradient centrifugation techniques. Prior to injection sperm images were captured using high-quality video graphic equipment. Sperm selection was based on the concept of 'best-looking' spermatozoa i.e. spermatozoa lacking gross and obvious malformations such as broken necks, cytoplasmic droplets, amorphous or elongated heads. Photomicrographs of each sperm cell were produced from video footage. The photographical material was used to determine the basic shape and the actual length-to-width ratio of the injected sperm heads. Embryo biopsies and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) was performed on 12 randomly selected couples from a set of 39. Embryos were evaluated on day 3 for development and embryo transfer. Embryo biopsies and FISH analyses were performed on those embryos that showed no developmental potential following injection. It was found that 70% of the embryos that showed no developmental potential were Y chromosome-bearing embryos. The sperm selection process for ICSI based on the approach of choosing the 'best-looking' spermatozoon in the ejaculate seems to provide cells that can be classified as normal based on the length-to-width ratio set by the World Health Organization for normal cells. © 2006 The Authors.