Semen cryopreservation for men banking for oligospermia, cancers, and other pathologies: prediction of post-thaw outcome using basal semen quality

We demonstrate the ability of prefreeze semen quality to predict cryosurvival in terms of sensitivity and precision. This information allows appropriate counseling about the future possibilities of fertility for the patient.

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Selene Degl’Innocenti, M.L.T., Erminio Filimberti, Ph.D., Angela Magini, M.D., Csilla Gabriella Krausz, M.D., Giuseppe Lombardi, M.D., Maria Grazia Fino, M.L.T., Giulia Rastrelli, M.D., Mario Maggi, M.D., Elisabetta Baldi, Ph.D.

Volume 100, Issue 6, Pages 1555-1563.e3, December 2013



To evaluate post-thawing sperm parameters in a large series of men cryopreserving for different cancers and oligospermia.


Retrospective observational study.


Semen cryopreservation laboratory.


Six hundred twenty-three patients undergoing semen cryopreservation for cancer or oligospermia who discontinued banking.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Postcryopreservation sperm motility and viability.


In oligospermic men, recovery of motile sperm after cryopreservation was possible in only a few out of the 219 samples cryopreserved for this problem. Similarly, independent of the reason for which cryopreservation was required, if one basal semen parameter fell below the 5th percentile of the World Health Organization reference values, recovery of motile and viable spermatozoa after thawing was low. Among samples cryopreserved for cancer, those with testicular cancer showed the lowest basal semen quality and recovery after thawing. In cases of hematological cancers or other types of cancers, motility recovery was similar to that of non-cancer-related samples. Receiver operating characteristic analyses demonstrate that basal progressive and total motility predict the recovery rate of motile sperm after thawing with high accuracy, sensibility and specificity.


Our study demonstrates the ability of prefreeze semen parameters to predict cryosurvival in terms of sensitivity and precision. Using this information, the clinician could perform appropriate counseling about the future possibilities of fertility for the patient.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.