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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 135-139

Human semen hyperviscosity: prevalence and effects on physical and biochemical semen parameters in subfertile Egyptian men

1 Department of Dermatology and Andrology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Kerdasa, Giza, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Kerdasa, Giza, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Zakaria Mahran
MD, Kerdasa, Giza
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-6530.150276

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Background Semen hyperviscosity (SHV) is a condition that can markedly impair the physical and chemical characteristics of seminal fluid, which leads to an adverse impact on sperm function. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of SHV in infertile Egyptian men and to evaluate its effects on physical and biochemical semen parameters, and also to identify any correlation between SHV and infections or inflammation of the genital tract. Participants and methods Semen samples were studied for 300 infertile men; of these, 225 men had normal semen viscosity and were excluded from the study. Seventy-five men with SHV were selected and included in this study. In addition, 25 fertile men with completely normal semen parameters who had recently fathered children were included as a control group. All participants underwent seminal analysis and measurement of seminal plasma fructose, ascorbic acid, calcium, and zinc, in addition to a peroxidase test and polymorphonuclear granulocyte elastase (PMN elastase). Results Our study showed that the prevalence of SHV was 25% in infertile Egyptian men. Sperm motility and sperm vitality, in addition to fructose, ascorbic acid, calcium, and zinc levels, were significantly reduced, whereas PMN elastase levels were significantly increased in samples with hyperviscosity (P < 0.05). There was a strong positive correlation between PMN elastase levels and increasing viscosity. Conclusion Our results showed that hyperviscosity seems to be the result of infection or inflammation in 75% in our cases and hyperviscosity seems not to be because of a single pathogenic factor, but rather because of several (biochemical, enzymatic, and genetic) factors that act in synergy. These factors should be studied further.

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