- Prospective assessment of Y-chromosome microdeletions and reproductive outcomes among infertile couples of Japanese and African origin

Prospective assessment of Y-chromosome microdeletions and reproductive outcomes among infertile couples of Japanese and African origin

Paul E Kihaile1,2,3, Atsushi Yasui1 and Yoshihiro Shuto1

1Oita Medical University, Oita City, 879-5593 Japan
2St. Luke IVF Center, Oita City, 870-0497 Japan
3Muhimbili University College of Health Science, Box 65001, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania



To compare the frequency of Y-chromosome microdeletions in Japanese and African azoospermic and oligozoospermic men and describe embryo characteristics and reproductive outcome following in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).


Our study was performed prospectively at two centers, a private IVF clinic and a university hospital. Japanese and African (Tanzanian) men with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA) and oligozoospermia (concentration 6 /ml) were evaluated for Y-chromosome microdeletions (n = 162). Of the 47 men with NOA, 26 were Japanese and 21 were Africans. Of the 115 men with oligozoospermia, 87 were Japanese and 28 were Africans. Reproductive outcomes of patients with Y-chromosome microdeletions were then compared with those of 19 IVF+ICSI cycles performed on couples with Y-chromosome intact males/tubal factor infertility which served as a control group.


Seven azoospermic and oligozoospermic patients had Y-chromosome deletions; the total number of deletions in the AZFc region was five. There was only one deletion in the AZFa region and one complete deletion involving all three regions (AZFa, b, and c) within AZF. In our study population, microdeletion frequency among Japanese men was 6.2% (95% CI, 4.25% – 14.45%), whereas no deletions were identified in the African group (95% CI, 0.0% – 7.27%). The difference between the two groups was not statistically significant, however. Embryos derived from ICSI utilizing sperm with Y-chromosome microdeletion showed reduced rates of fertilization, blastocyst development, implantation, and pregnancy compared to the Y-chromosome intact group, although these observed differences were not statistically significant.


The observed frequency of Y-chromosome microdeletion was 6.2% among Japanese azoospermic and oligozoospermic males; no microdeletions were identified among our African study patients. In this population of couples undergoing IVF+ICSI, there was no statistically significant difference in embryo characteristics or pregnancy outcome between patients with Y-chromosome microdeletion and those with an intact Y-chromosome.

Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction 2005, 2:9. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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