Headless spermatozoa in infertile men.Andrologia. 2017 Oct; 49(8)A
Spermatozoa morphology, an important parameter in a semen specimen's potential fertility evaluation, is a significant factor for in vitro fertilisation in assisted reproductive technology. Eleven sterile men with headless spermatozoa, a type of human teratozoospermia, are presented. Their ejaculates' headless spermatozoa percentages were high with rare normal spermatozoa forms. Additionally, abnormal morphology (e.g. round-headed or microcephalic spermatozoa) was also found. Spermatozoa motility was somewhat affected, potentially because of the missing mitochondrial sheath at the sperm tail base. Patients who underwent assisted reproductive technology treatment experienced adverse pregnancy outcomes. Work types and corresponding environments seemed irrelevant, but specific family history may have prompted its genetic origin. Computer-assisted semen analysis systems easily mistake headless spermatozoa as oligozoospermia because of nonrecognition of the loose head. However, morphological testing, especially with an electronic microscope, clearly identifies abnormal spermatozoa. Future exploration requires more methods investigating the frequency and percentage of this morphological abnormality in different populations with varied fertility levels. Such research would estimate the probable correlation of the abnormality with other semen parameters and examine the potential developmental or genetic origins. During clinical work, medical staff should detect these cases, avoid misdiagnosis and provide proper consultation about diagnosis and assisted reproductive technology treatment.