Human male infertility: Chromosome anomalies, meiotic disorders, abnormal spermatozoa and recurrent abortion

S. Egozcue, J. Blanco, J. M. Vendrell, F. García, A. Veiga, B. Aran, P. N. Barri, F. Vidal, J. Egozcue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

249 Citations (Scopus)


Human male infertility is often related to chromosome abnormalities. In chromosomally normal infertile males, the rates of chromosome 21 and sex chromosome disomy in spermatozoa are increased. Higher incidences of trisomy 21 (seldom of paternal origin) and sex chromosome aneuploidy are also found. XXY and XYY patients produce increased numbers of XY, XX and YY spermatozoa, indicating an increased risk of production of XXY, XYY and XXX individuals. Since XXYs can reproduce using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), this could explain the slight increase of sex chromosome anomalies in ICSI series. Carriers of structural reorganizations produce unbalanced spermatozoa, and risk having children with duplications and/or deficiencies. In some cases, this risk is considerably lower or higher than average. These patients also show increased diploidy, and a higher risk of producing diandric triploids. Meiotic disorders are frequent in infertile males, and increase with severe oligoasthenozoospemia (OA) and/or high follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations. These patients produce spermatozoa with autosomal and sex chromosome disomies, and diploid spermatozoa. Their contribution to recurrent abortion depends on the production of trisomies, monosomies and of triploids. The most frequent sperm chromosome anomaly in infertile males is diploidy, originated by either meiotic mutations or by a compromised testicular environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-105
JournalHuman Reproduction Update
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Chromosome anomalies
  • Diploid spermatozoa
  • Male infertility
  • Meiotic disorders
  • Recurrent abortion


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