Detection of testicular endocrine abnormalities and their correlation with serum antisperm antibodies in men following vasectomy
Follicle Stimulating Hormone
We measured the serum gonadotropin response to gonadotropin-releasing hormone in 25 men who underwent vasectomy 2 to 64 months before the study. Ten age-matched fertile men were used as controls. Baseline serum follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and testosterone levels were not significantly different between vasectomized men and controls. However, mean serum follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormone responses to an intravenous bolus injection of 100 mcg. gonadotropin-releasing hormone were significantly greater in the vasectomy group (p equals 0.008 and 0.003, respectively). There was no correlation between these responses and the interval after vasectomy. Serum antisperm antibodies were present in 13 vasectomized men (52 per cent) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and microagglutination techniques. A significant correlation (p equals 0.003) was found between the presence of serum antisperm antibodies and a normal follicle-stimulating hormone response to gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulation. Of 13 patients with demonstrable antisperm antibody titers 9 (69 per cent) had normal follicle-stimulating hormone responses, compared to only 1 of 12 (8 per cent) without identifiable antisperm antibody titers. Our data suggest that certain men following vasectomy have abnormalities in seminiferous tubule and Leydig cell functions of the testes. These abnormalities are unrelated to the interval after vasectomy and are not identifiable with routine static hormonal measurements. In addition, serum antisperm antibodies are most likely to be present in men who demonstrate normal seminiferous tubular activity after vasectomy.