The correlation of sperm morphology with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Xiaodan Cao, Yun Cui, Xiaoxia Zhang, Jiangtao Lou, Jun Zhou and Renxiong Wei _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:55646-55656. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17233

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Xiaodan Cao1, Yun Cui1, Xiaoxia Zhang1, Jiangtao Lou1, Jun Zhou1 and Renxiong Wei1

1Department of Clinical Laboratory, Ningbo Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ningbo 315000, China

Correspondence to:

Renxiong Wei, email: [email protected]

Keywords: sperm, morphology, recurrent spontaneous abortion, meta-analysis

Received: March 06, 2017    Accepted: March 23, 2017    Published: April 19, 2017


Sperm morphology displays a potential impact on sperm function and may ultimately impact reproductive function. Current studies have investigated the correlation between sperm morphology with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) but have shown inconsistent results. Hence, we systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CNKI databases, as well as the Cochrane Library for studies that examined the association between sperm morphology and unexplained RSA. Fifteen studies were identified, including 883 cases and 530 controls. Our meta-analysis results indicated that the percentage of normal sperm morphology from men with RSA partners was significantly lower than those from normal controls(SMD [95% CI]: − 0.60 [−0.81, −0.40]; P<0.00001) and the percentage of sperm morphologic alterations was significantly higher in patients with RSA compared with the control group (SMD [95% CI]: 0.92 [0.42, 1.43]; P=0.0004). The present study suggested that the percentage of normal sperm morphology may indeed decrease in men from RSA group compared with controls. However, there were some limitations in the study such as the differences in stain techniques and classification criteria. Further evidences are needed to better elucidate the relationship between sperm morphology and unexplained RSA.

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