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Curr Opin Urol. 2007 Nov;17(6):431-8.

Therapeutic testis biopsy for sperm retrieval.

Author information

  • 1Department of Urology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1089, USA. moshe-wald@uiowa.edu



The introduction of IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection revolutionized the treatment of male infertility by requiring a minimal number of sperm to achieve pregnancy. We describe the various methods for testicular sperm retrieval in different types of azoospermia.


Different techniques for surgical sperm retrieval are available, including testicular sperm aspiration, single, multisite and microdissection testicular sperm extraction, as well as percutaneous and microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration. While these methods have similar retrieval outcomes in obstructive azoospermia, testicular sperm extraction procedures appear to be more beneficial in cases of nonobstructive azoospermia. A reliable algorithm for predicting the outcome of microdissection testicular sperm extraction using clinical parameters is still lacking, and may be difficult to develop, given the fact that this method is designed to detect and sample even minute areas of focal spermatogenesis.


A variety of surgical sperm retrieval procedures can be performed for the purpose of subsequent or simultaneous IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The decision regarding the type of procedure should be based on the type of azoospermia, specific clinical circumstances, as well as on the surgeon's preference and experience.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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