Mohamed Arafa, Haitham ElBardisi, Ahmad Majzoub, Sami AlSaid, Abdel Rahman Jaber, Kareim Khalafalla
Siew May Wang, Ashok Agarwal
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Patients with varicocele tend to have poor sperm quality and are at higher risk of being infertile. Although the pathophysiology of infertility in males with varicocele has been extensively studied, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Oxidative stress has been recognized as a possible mechanism. We therefore performed a study to determine the correlation between oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and poor semen quality in infertile men with varicocele.
318 infertile men with varicocele and 51 normal healthy men were recruited as the control group. Patients with varicocele were further divided into three groups according to the clinical grade of their varicoceles (grade1-3). Semen samples were analyzed using WHO 5th edition guideline and ORP levels were measured by MiOXSYS analyzer. The results were compared by Wilcoxon rank sum test and Kruskal Wallis test and a P value < 0.05 was considered significant.
Table 1 summarized the results of semen parameters and ORP levels between study groups. All semen parameters (concentration, total motility and normal form of sperm) were all found to be lower in patients with varicocele while the ORP levels were significantly higher in patients group. ORP levels were negatively correlated with sperm concentration, motility and morphology (Figure 1). Comparing patients by the severity of varicocele showed no significant differences (Table 2).
ORP plays a role in the pathophysiology of varicocele associated infertility. Treatment targeting on ORP reduction may potentially improve semen quality in these patients.