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Sperm DNA damage & oxidative stress in recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA)

The Indian Journal of Medical Research
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
  • Correspondence
  • Ecology
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


Sir, Recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) is defined as three or more consecutive pregnancy losses of less than or equal to 20 wk of gestation. The aetiology in about 60 per cent cases is not known. Till date, apart from chromosomal analysis of both partners, the male factor is largely ignored and only women are investigated to understand aetiology RSA. However, recent studies by Shamsi et al1 have reported that sperm factors play an important in fertilization, implantation and embryogenesis. Thus, sperm is not a mere vector of paternal DNA but, plays a critical and dynamic role which extends beyond fertilization. This study was planned to understand the role of sperm factors [sperm oxidative stress (OS) and DNA damage] in idiopathic cases of RSA. After obtaining ethical clearance of study protocol from the ethics committee of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, 25 couples with idiopathic RSA attending antenatal clinic and 25 proven controls (men who had fathered a child in last one year and had normal sperm parameters) were enrolled in the study from February to August 2010. The male partner of couple with idiopathic RSA were enrolled consecutively. Informed consent was obtained from both cases and controls. The mean age of cases was 28 ± 4.2 yr and that of controls was 26 ± 3.8 yr. The individuals were evaluated to rule out immunological, endocrinal, infections and anatomical defects. The absence of antiphospholipid syndrome was confirmed by ruling out the presence of lupus anticoagulant (LA) and anticardiolipin (aCL) antibody. After detailed gynaecological and laboratory investigation it was found that female partner was normal. Both male and female partners were cytogenetically normal. The semen samples were collected after abstinence of 4 days in a non toxic vial and the analysis was done immediately after liquefaction (30-40 min after ejaculation). Neat semen was analysed for ROS levels by chemiluminescence2 and DNA damages was assessed by comet assay3. Of the 25 cases,

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