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J Androl. 2011 Mar-Apr;32(2):199-206. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.109.009530. Epub 2010 Sep 23.

Morphology of partial globozoospermia.

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Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 791, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Total globozoospermia is a rare sperm morphology disorder that consists of 100% round-headed, acrosomeless spermatozoa. There is also a larger group of patients whose sperm cells are partially acrosomeless. The aim of this investigation was to describe partial globozoospermia compared to total globozoospermia and normozoospermia. Ejaculates from 10 patients with more than 50% acrosomeless spermatozoa (partial globozoospermia), 3 patients with total globozoospermia, and 9 normozoospermic controls were analyzed with light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and flow cytometry. Qualitative and quantitative examination of spermatozoa from the 3 groups shows differences in the percentage of round-headed sperm cells and acrosome malformation. Total globozoospermia presents as a homogenous kind of teratozoospermia. Partial globozoospermia is a distinctive sperm malformation with an increased proportion of round-headed sperm cells and acrosome malformations compared to normozoospermia, which exists separately from total globozoospermia. It thereby contains oval sperm cells that may have distinctive malformations of the sperm head matrix, but also morphologically normal sperm cells that may be used in a clinical setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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