Korean J Fertil Steril.  1997 Aug;24(2):153-165.

A Study on the Morphological Analysis of Sperm


In male reproducible health, fertility and IVF (in-vitro fertilization), semen analysis has been most important. Semen analysis can be divided into concentration, motional and morphological analysis of sperm. The existing method which was developed earlier to analyze semen concentrated on the sperm motility analysis. To provide more useful and precise solutions for clinical problems such as infertility, semen analysis must include sperm morphological analysis. But the traditional tools for semen analysis are subjective, imprecise, inaccurate, difficult to standardize, and difficult to reproduce. Therefore, with the help of development of microcomputers and image processing techniques, we developed a new sperm morphology analyzer to overcome these problems. In this study the agreement on percent normal morphology was studied between different observers and a computerized sperm morphology analyzer on a slide-by-slide basis using strict criteria. Slides from 30 different patients from the SNUH andrology laboratory were selected randomly. Microscopic fields and sperm cells were chosen randomly and percent normal morphology was recorded. The ability of sperm morphology analyzer to repeat the same reading for normal and abnormal cells was studied. The results showed that there was no significant bias between two experienced observers. The limits of agreement were 4.1%~-3.8%. The Pearson correlation coefficient between readers was 0.79. Between the manual and sperm morphology analyzer, the same findings were reported. In this experiments the slides were stained by two different methods, PAP and Diff-Quik staining methods. The limits of agreement were 7.2%~-5.7% and 6.0%~-6.3%, respectively. The Pearson correlation coefficients ware 0.76 and 0.91, respectively. The limits of agreement was tighter below 20% normal forms. In the experiments of repeatability, 52 cells stained by PAP and Diff-Quik staining methods were analyzed three times in succession. Estimating pairwise agreement, the kappa statistic for the pairs were 0.76, 0.81, 0.86, and 0.75, 0.88, 0.88 respectively. In this study it was shown that there was good agreement between manual and computerized assessment of normal and abnormal cells. The repeatability and agreement per slide of computerized sperm morphology analyzer was excellent. The computer's ability to classify normal morphology per slide is promising. Based on results obtained, this system can be of clinical value both in andrology laboratories and IVF units.

MeSH Terms

Bias (Epidemiology)
Semen Analysis
Sperm Motility
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