Scientific Abtracts


Varicocelectomy improves the sperm capacity to induce optimal embryonicdevelopment post-fertilization
varicocelectomy, sperm, embryo development, donor oocytes
Study Question:
 Our objective was to evaluate the effects of varicocelectomy on earlyembryonic development of oocytes recovered from female donors.
Summary Answer:
 It appears that left varicocelectomy improves the DNA integrity, the malegamete nucleus protein matrix quality and/or the centrosomic integrity/function allowingmore optimal embryonic development.
What is known
: Left varicocele has a detrimental effect
on the sperm ability to induceoptimal early embryonic development post-fertilization.
Study Design:
 The study was performed during July of 2015 until May 2016 at theMediterranean Fertility Institute in collaboration with the Urology Dept of the University ofIoannina.
Participants/Materials, Setting, Methods:
 ICSI procedures using female donor oocytes wereperformed with spermatozoa from 13 men (group A) with left varicoceles. The femalepartners of the latter men could not produce oocytes of appropriate quality for participatingin assisted reproductive technology (ART) programs. Injected oocytes were cultured for 96hours. The fertilization rate (FR) (100X fertilized oocytes/injected oocytes) and the blastocystdevelopment rate (BDR) (100X developed blastocysts/fertilized oocytes) were recorded.Developed blastocysts were transferred to surrogate females. Another group of nine menwith left varicoceles (group B) whose wives could not produce oocytes of appropriate qualityfor ART programs underwent microsurgical left varicocelectomy. Six to 12 months later ICSIcycles were performed using female donor oocytes. FR and BDR were recorded, as well.Developed blastocysts were transferred to surrogate females.
Main Results:
 It was found that between Group A and B there was no statistically significantdifference (P<0.05) in FR. However, the BDR was significantly larger (P<0.05) in group B thanin group A (Chi-Square test -Yates correction).
 The sample volume was reduced and larger studies are required to evaluate theresults of such research.
Wider Implications:
 Left varicocelectomy improves the ability of the male gamete to triggerthe cascade of ooplasmic events that lead to early embryonic development up to theblastocyst development. In the current study the injected oocytes had been recovered fromnormal young females thus any female infertility factor is excluded. The current studyindicates an important role of the male gamete beyond fertilization.
Study Funding:
 There was no competing interest in the current study that would bias theresults.