The use of fluorescent in situ hybridization in male infertility

Kathleen Hwang, John W. Weedin, and Dolores J. Lamb The use of fluorescent in situ hybridization in male infertility Ther Adv Urol. 2010 August; 2(4): 157–169.


Male factors are implicated in up to 50% of couples being evaluated and treated for infertility with advanced assisted reproductive technologies. Genetic abnormalities, including sperm chromosome aneuploidy as well as structural aberrations, are one of the major causes of infertility. The use of chromosome-specific DNA probes labeled with fluorochromes, particularly the combination with multiple probes, has been used to indirectly study the sperm chromosome by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Clinically, this technique is also used to assess the sperm of men recovering from gonadotoxic treatment. Recent advances in this technology facilitate the evaluation of sperm aneuploidy. Sperm FISH is a widely used screening tool to aid in counseling couples with severe male factor infertility, especially in cases of prior repeated in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection failure or recurrent pregnancy loss. Automation of FISH imaging and analysis, as well as the development of emerging techniques such as comparative genomic hybridization, will all contribute to the promise of future diagnostic approaches aimed at improving the quality, ease, and efficiency of aneuploidy analysis.

Keywords: sperm fluorescent in situ hybridization, male infertility, chromosome abnormalities, clinical relevance


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