Article Abstract

Serum testosterone levels and other determinants of sperm retrieval in microdissection testicular sperm extraction

Authors: Sultan A. Althakafi, Osama M. Mustafa, Raouf M. Seyam, Naif Al-Hathal, Said Kattan


Background: Microdissection testicular sperm extraction (microTESE) has become the standard of care for sperm retrieval in non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) patients. Understanding the significant determinants of microTESE outcomes may result in improvements in sperm retrieval rates and provide better-informed clinical decisions.
Methods: This is a clinical retrospective study conducted through chart review of 421 NOA patients who underwent microTESE between August 2009 and July 2015 in a tertiary-care referral hospital. Clinical, biochemical and histopathological characteristics were collected. Normal serum testosterone level was defined as testosterone >9.9 nmol/L. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify determinants of microTESE in the studied population. A P<0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Sperms were successfully retrieved in 39.4% of cases. The average testosterone level was 11.51±7.40 and 11.67±6.42 in patients with successful and unsuccessful microTESE, respectively (P=0.820). No significant association was found between serum testosterone level and sperm motility and amount. Of all variables, histological subtype remained to be the most significant determinant of microTESE outcomes in the examined population, with hypospermatogenesis having over a 3-fold higher odd of successful microTESE than sertoli-cell only.
Conclusions: Serum testosterone level appears to have no significant association with microTESE outcomes in NOA. The underlying histological pattern is a significant determinant of the procedure’s success.