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Andrology. 2014 Sep;2(5):678-86. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-2927.2014.00234.x. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Sperm DNA integrity testing: big halo is a good predictor of embryo quality and pregnancy after conventional IVF.

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Department of Human Reproduction, Clinic for Women's Diseases and Obstetrics of University Hospital Center Split, Split, Croatia.


Sperm DNA integrity is a sperm functional parameter of male fertility evaluation. Two parameters of sperm DNA integrity were observed: DNA damage expressed as DNA fragmentation index (DFI) and percentage of the DNA undamaged spermatozoa expressed as big halo. Halosperm test was used for sperm DNA integrity determination. The aim of this study was to evaluate which DNA integrity parameter is better as an embryo quality and pregnancy prognostic parameter after the conventional IVF. We evaluated two embryo groups (positive and negative group) according to the 3rd day cumulative embryo score. Big halo and DFI, as we expected, showed good correlation (r = -0.69; p < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses show that DFI and big halo are significant (p < 0.001) as prognostic parameters of embryo quality. ROC curves comparison of DFI and big halo revealed the AUC value for big halo to be significantly higher (DFI AUC = 0.71 vs. big halo AUC = 0.83; p = 0.025) than for DFI. Big halo was found to be the only independent predictor of embryo quality. Sperm DNA integrity both parameters are good prognostic parameters of embryo quality after the conventional IVF where big halo seems to be better. ROC analyses show DFI and big halo as significant prognostic parameters for achieved pregnancy (AUC ± SE for DFI was 0.67 ± 0.06 and 0.75 ± 0.06 for big halo). To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating the correlation between sperm DNA undamaged rate expressed as big halo parameter and semen characteristics as well as the influence on fertilization rate, embryo quality and pregnancy in conventional IVF.


DFI; big halo; conventional IVF; embryo quality; halosperm test; pregnancy

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